The Venezuelan National Assembly passed a law granting social equality to all community members in University administrative processes. The new University Education Law will replace the current University Council process where higher ranked authorities are granted with heavier weighing votes. Instead, students, professors, administrators, workers and community members will elect university councils for budgeting and administration concerning the universities. In addition, students will take part in the voting processes to elect university authorities, evaluate professors, express opinions openly, access administrative records for the university and other services. Those in favor of the law feel that it bridges the gap between the community and the elite previously in power.
Opposition of the new law argues that when the first draft of the law was released in August of 2001, it hardly resembled the current law. Though the current law was released on August 16 as a proposal, it was only open for discussion for a couple of weeks before it was voted on. Those opposing the law argue that it is contradictory to university autonomy due to “populist politicking,” though Article 36 defines intellectual freedom to all and fights against a smaller administration. There have been many controversial protests, which have led to the use of a water cannon, plastic shotgun pellets, etc. over the new University Education Law.
Title: “Venezuelan University Law Creates Student Bill of Rights, Democratizes Higher Education.”
Publication: Venezuelanalysis.com, December 24, 2010
Author: James Suggett
Faculty Evaluator: Professor Tadrissi (Sonoma State University)
Student Name: Amanda Newhall (Sonoma State University)