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Voluntary Student Unionism will not be rolled-back by Rudd government


 

Australia’s government will not be reinstating compulsory student union and athletic fees at the country’s universities. Despite calling the implementation of VSU by the Howard government “the cruellest” decision made by the his government, the Rudd government is not willing to risk the backlash of returning fees that the vast majority of students don’t want to pay.

It will be interesting to see what the government does next. They are promising to help universities to supply student services which have been hurt by the change to VSU.

I expect the government will allow universities to once again charge for non-academic (they are allowed to charge for academic services) student services on top of tuition, but students unions are out of luck.

The government has a page on Voluntary Student Unionism which includes it’s latest report.


 
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Voluntary Student Unionism will not be rolled-back by Rudd government

  1. Awesome.

    The government doesn’t want to face the backlash of returning fees that the vast majority of students don’t want to pay, but will probably (I agree with you) allow universities to increase fees for “non-academic services” that were previously provided by student unions – which students will have to pay for, whether they want to pay or not. So students are no further ahead financially (or slightly better, or slightly worse).

    And of course, in the universities’ hands, students will have little to no control how those funds are spent.

    So this is better because….?

  2. “So this is better because….?”

    It’s better because University administrators are held to a higher standard of public accountability than corrupt student union bureaucrats and lifetime ‘student’ leaders. At my university (UVic) the school administers all the athletics programs, the rec centre, sports clubs and the majority of student services and do a great job. I wouldn’t trust our student union to do half of those things.

  3. Hmmm…

    So university administrators (apparently) do a “great job” administering student services, even though they are accountable to institutional boards of governors, which are in turn mostly appointed by the provincial government, i.e. politicians. This, along with the fact that there are a great many students’ unions around the world that *do* do a good job providing student services, leads me to believe that whatever problems may exist within (some) students’ unions are not at all incurable.

    The challenge, then, for students’ unions is to identify – and fix – the problems and weaknesses that afflict us. Otherwise, we will go the way of the Australian students’ unions.

  4. “So this is better because….?”

    It’s better because University administrators are held to a higher standard of public accountability than corrupt student union bureaucrats and lifetime ’student’ leaders….

    ??? nice :)

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