21 Oct 2010

Compulsory student membership set to be scrapped

11:47 am on 21 October 2010

Compulsory membership of student associations looks certain to be abolished after the Government agreed to support an ACT party member's bill.

The Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill would make membership of a student union at universities and polytechnics voluntary.

The bill's sponsor, ACT MP Heather Roy, says compulsory membership is a relic of a bygone era.

New Zealand Union of Students' Associations co-president David Do says the law change would jeopardise student representation, sport, hardship funds, newspapers and radio stations - the likes of which saw the career start of Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.

The head of the Secondary Principals Association, Patrick Walsh, says the strike will not have a major impact on students' NCEA preparations, though he says it is unfortunate the pupils are missing five hours' work with their teachers.