VSM Bill to pass

The Education & Science Select Committee has reported back on the VSM Bill.

The Education and Science Committee has examined the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill and recommends by majority that it be passed with the amendments shown.

Yay yay yay. This has been a long time coming. A very good day for freedom and choice, and a bad day for compulsion.

There are a number of changes to the bill. I am pleased to see that they have adopted my suggestion that institutions will still be required to collect fees on behalf of a student association – on a voluntary basis. It would have been impractical for an association to try and solicit memberships itself. This should allow student associations that have a modest fee and provides good services, to still persuade people to join.

The implementation date has changed to be 1 January 2012 – also a change I supported. This give institutions time to modify their enrolment processes and software, and gives associations time to prepare.

My offer at the select committee to work with NZUSA to get a culture and systems change within student associations, so they can maximise membership stands.  I have a number of ideas about how associations, and also student media, can attract income, even without compulsory fees.

Congrats to Heather Roy and Roger Douglas for getting select committee agreement.

There may be some fish hooks in the detailed provisions. If so, I’ll blog some possible changes to be considered at Committee of the Whole stage.

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