Dozens of further education colleges have failed to comply with new rules on including student governors on their boards, says the National Union of Students.
The union, which holds its first student governors' conference today in Derby, estimates that more than 40 per cent of colleges in England and Wales still have no elected student governor in post. Changes to the make-up of college governing bodies, in place since August, mean that college boards should have at least one student governor and could have up to three.
Mark Atkinson, NUS vice president further education, said union research showed vacant posts at well over 100 colleges and that the NUS wanted a clear message from the Further Education Funding Council and Association of Colleges. He blamed "rogue colleges" for resisting the move.
But Sheila Hill, clerk to the corporation at Milton Keynes College, which has board vacancies for two student governors, said the problem was finding students who were willing to sit as governors "because of the other pressures on them, such as pressure to earn money or look after a family".
The FEFC said action would be taken if student governors were missing from college boards only if someone lodged a complaint.