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Time to restore staff, student voice to polytechnic councils

Time to restore staff and student voice to polytechnic councils

Restoring staff and student democracy to university, wānanga and polytechnic councils is a simple task for parliament, says TEU national president Sandra Grey.

“We’re pleased that parliament drew David Cunliffe's Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill from the ballot this afternoon.

Grey says TEU has already successfully campaigned to protect democratically elected seats for students and working people at most of New Zealand’s universities this year, despite a law change that was deliberately designed to limit the voice of students and working people on those councils.

“We’ve proven that staff and students want a say in how we govern our universities, wānanga and polytechnics. We have also proven that staff and students are good at the job and have something unique to contribute.”

Grey says people at tertiary institutions do not want to go back to last year's law, and this new law must include polytechnics and wānanga.

Polytechnics and wānanga should have the same right as universities to have the democratic wisdom and understanding of education that staff and students bring to councils.

"Mr Cunliffe's bill can protect the democratic voice of staff and students at those universities and restore it to our wananga and polytechnics."

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