Allowing ACT to destroy Student Unions
Student leaders: Govt support for bill puts tertiary education in jeopardy
The decision of National members of a parliamentary select committee to ignore tertiary institutions, students and the public by supporting an Act bill to impose voluntary student membership on students' associations is disgraceful.
It will put students' services, representation and their education at major risk. Should it be passed, Act's Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill will jeopardise the quality of the education environment and the student experience by removing the very mechanism that exists to provide these services.
It will end accountable and effective representation and destroy the student support, independent advocacy and welfare standards that students have. Every student will bear the brunt of this. Our politicians don't seem to care that there will be a huge reduction in services and a loss of a student voice in universities and polytechnics throughout the country.
Institutions will receive diverse messages from students and without clear signals will look to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for funding priorities.
Students, the key stakeholders, will be sidelined because their voice will not be clear and strong. Future tertiary services will be driven by the minority funder, exactly the behaviour the proponents of this bill oppose.
Students don't want this. Tertiary institutions don't want this. The committee received 4837 submissions on the bill, with an overwhelming 98 per cent opposed.
Of the 4837 submissions, 98% opposed what ACT are planing, and yet once again John Key is allowing the ACT tail to wag the dog. National continue to allow this fringe political party of hypocrites to dictate hard right social policy to the country.
The claim that freedom of association is what is at stake are nonsense, any jumped up little libertarian who had a philosophical issue with the Student Union they joined always had the opportunity to argue their case and have the student fee paid to a charity of their choosing rather than to the Student Union. This is not about freedom of association, it's about the freedom of dis-association, by shutting down student unions the right wing amputate one of their largest critics.
If as the bullied Heather Roy claims, Whitireia is a reason to abolish student unions then Taito Phillip Field & Roger McClay are reasons to disband Parliament.
As I said at the select committee...
...this is a brutal political assassination dictated by the fringe right which will rob society of one of its critics and most importantly rob students of any real say at their Universities, Labour and the Greens should promise to reverse this as an election promise.