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‘If students are put on the backbench with this bill, we will not support it’, says USI

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are demanding that students are treated as partners in the governance of their institutions when final amendments to the Technological Universities Bill 2015 are deliberated on. The Bill is to be debated by the Select Committee on Education and Skills at its meeting today, Wednesday, 15th of November 2017.

Speaking ahead the meeting, USI President Michael Kerrigan said,

“Students are always the ones left behind when it comes to creating the foundations of our higher education landscape.  Students should be put at the heart of the Technological University from the very start. If students are sidelined by this Bill, we will not support it.”

Mr Kerrigan went on to say,

“We have a number of key amendments which need to pass in order for this bill to be inclusive of the student voice. The definition of Students’ Union (Amendment 11) needs to be amended to protect SU Autonomy. Secondly,  student representation on Governing Body (Amendment 48) and student representation on Academic Council (Amendment 56) must pass to ensure students are fairly represented at the very beginning of a Technological University.”

The Union have also expressed concern over the Department of Education and Skills amendment which would see the size of the Governing Body increase if four or more institutes merge, but fails to increase the number of student representatives.

The Union has been campaigning for fairer representation for students in the Technological Bill since 2015.

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