For decades, two student representatives have sat on University Council, The University of Tasmania's peak decision-making body. Now, a Bill before the House of Assembly seeks to slash that representation by 50%, effectively silencing the student voice on campus, at a time when phenomenal changes are being proposed to the University's management structure, curriculae and Faculty administration.
As a consequence of the University of Tasmania Amendment Bill 2012, the number of student representatives on the University Council will be reduced from 2 to 1, with no provision for an elected student representative. The proposed bill will result in the University having the least number of student representatives amongst universities surveyed and reduce the number of members on the University Council to levels lower than those observed in the universities surveyed. The proposed changes will also reduce the percentage of students on the current University Council to half that of the leading four universities. The universities surveyed included universities from the Group of Eight and other medium-sized and regional universities across Australia.
We have serious concerns about the impact that the Bill’s implementation will have on the capacity students have to exert meaningful influence over the primary policy and decision-making assembly of the university.