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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 3. 1967.

Varsities should court taxpayers

page 3

Varsities should court taxpayers

Wellington Universities should court the taxpayers a little, feels the Minister of Labour, Mr. Shand.

Speaking at the opening of the New Zealand University Students' Association Easter Council in Wellington. Mr. Shand told delegates he thought the Association should do all it could to promote the public image of the University.

"How much the public will be prepared to pay for universities will depend upon the image the student presents," he said. "A citizen who looks favourably upon the university will pay a little more willingly than one who is hostile."

Mr. Shand said that the public looked upon universities largely as the gateway to a career. Though many academics would be horrified at this view of the university as a meal-ticket, they should realise that universities are no longer little pockets of scholarship, but an important part of society.

"As such, they should mould their curricula to the [unclear: require] of society," he said. "But this moulding should be done by the universities themselves rather than at the insistence of an outside agency of Government."

"Universities should certainly decide what research should be undertaken, but it is not unreasonable to expect that they should direct their attention to areas of research which society feels are most important," he said.

"As part of our society, universities have considerable responsibilities to the public, for it is the job of universities to train the kinds of people society needs as far as it can, in the proportions in which they are needed," said Mr. Shand.