6 May 2012

Changes to university councils tipped

6:02 am on 6 May 2012

The Government may reform university councils along the same lines as polytechs two years ago.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says a review of the councils, which decide fee costs and various services, is in the early stages.

In May 2010, the Government overhauled polytech councils, reducing their membership from about 18 members to eight and removing compulsory student representation.

It made the changes to strengthen the performance of polytechs.

Mr Joyce says a number of options are being looked at, but the polytech structure has been successful in reducing costs and improving academic performance.

Labour believes Mr Joyce has signalled that model may be implemented in universities.

Tertiary education spokesperson Grant Robertson says the response from polytechs since the 2010 changes has been mixed.

Union of Students Associations president Pete Hodkinson says the views of students may not be heard fairly if compulsory student representation is removed.

However, Mr Joyce says just because someone is not around the table does not mean they can't share their views.