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Labour backs return to university democracy

Labour is backing the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations’ and Tertiary Education Union  campaign to restore student and staff participation in university councils, with a member’s bill.

Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe has lodged the Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill, which could be drawn from the member’s ballot today.

“From so-called national standards, to charter schools, to petty new admin fees added to student loan debts, the National Government keeps showing its ideological opposition to decent education for young New Zealanders.

“Steven Joyce’s power grab by abolishing democracy on university councils was a chilling attack on universities’ role as a critic and conscience in society.

“It flies in the face of good governance principles, which should include representation of those who are central to any successful tertiary institution – its students and staff.

“Enabling the stacking of university and polytechnic boards with the National Party’s cronies is no way to ensure universities are governed well in the public interest.

“Labour will also continue to support the restoration of democratic representation on polytechnic councils, through separate legislative measures,” says David Cunliffe.