National contradicts own Act on student voice
Students will welcome legislation passed yesterday that seeks to increase student oversight and consultation by institutions on student services and student services levies. However, this direction is being direct undermined and contradicted by other legislation National is supporting.
“NZUSA welcomes arrangements that would ensure students have more of a voice in their education. We support the Education Amendment Act (No 4)’s goals of improving transparency, ensuring greater involvement of students in decision making and improving the accountability of tertiary education providers to the student body,” says NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy.
“It is essential that students have oversight over these levies. This is the best way to ensure that services are responsive to students and that levies are kept under control. Without student oversight, you have taxation without representation, which is highly inappropriate,” says Hardy.
“The irony is that while this legislation intends to give students a greater say, the Government will severely undermine independent student representation if it continues to support the ACT Party’s Bill to end universal membership of students’ associations. Good coherent tertiary policy should seek to enhance and strengthen students’ voice and representation overall, not pull the sector in two different directions,” says NZUSA Co-President David Do.
In light of this situation, NZUSA calls on the Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce to think carefully about the Government’s continuing support for ACT’s bill to end universal membership of students’ associations.
“If the Minister wants his services levies legislation to work effectively, the Government needs to reconsider its support for ACT’s Bill. Is he prepared to cause disarray in the sector, see key student services put under risk, and reduce the voice of students?” concludes Do.
NZUSA is the national representative body for tertiary students and has been advocating on student issues since 1929.