Bill seeks to transform State universities

The 13 Acts governing State universities are likely to be amended by the Amendment of State Universities Statutes Bill gazetted last week. The Bill  will be brought before Parliament to align the Acts with the Constitution as well as create uniformity on the legal framework across all universities.

The Bill will amend all the University Acts in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of Education 5.0 policy that focusses on teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation for the production of quality goods and services.

The memorandum published with the Bill states the proposed legal changes will align the University Acts to the principles of good corporate governance in terms of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act and standardise university disciplinary procedures to remove cumbersome and costly procedures.

It will also amend the appointment of the registrar, bursar and librarian in all University Acts so that they are appointed by Council with the approval of the responsible Minister.

“This Bill seeks to reduce the number of members of the council in order to have a lean and efficient council, as well as ensuring that there is gender balance and fair regional representation in the appointment of members,” reads the Bill. Councils will be cut to 10 from 20 members and be responsible for policy direction as given by the responsible minister.

Membership will include the president of the students union and representatives of the university’s workers’ committee and in appointing members, factors to be considered include gender parity and fair regional representation.

The members shall hold office for four years and will be eligible for re-appointment or re-election for one further term. – Herald

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