The Code of Practice for Pastoral Care - caring for international students

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is seeking feedback and contributions from New Zealand's international education industry on Guidelines for the new Education (Pastoral Care for International Students) Code of Practice 2016 from 10 March to 1 May 2016.

The new Code has just been released and will go live on 1 July 2016, see New regulation to better support international students. Until then the below sections remain current. 

What is the Code of Practice?

When students come to study in New Zealand, education providers have an important responsibility to ensure that those students are well informed, safe and properly cared for.

To support this, the New Zealand government has developed a Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code).

The Code is a document that provides a framework for service delivery by education providers and their agents to international students.

It sets out minimum standards of advice and care that can be expected and provides a procedure that students can follow if they have concerns about the treatment they receive from their education provider or agent of a provider.

The Code does not apply to concerns about academic standards.

Who does the Code apply to?

All education providers which enrol international students must be signatories to the Code.

NZQA maintains a register of all education providers that the Code applies to. You can view the list of Code approved education providers.

The New Zealand Ministry of Education also maintains a register of exchange organisations that voluntarily meet the pastoral care standards set by the Code.

If an education provider is not a signatory to the Code, international students wishing to enrol will not be able to study at that institution.

What does the Code say?

The Code sets standards for education providers to ensure that:

  • high professional standards are maintained
  • the recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
  • information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date
  • students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments
  • contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
  • the particular needs of international students are recognised
  • international students are in safe accommodation
  • all providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances.

The Code also has a process for students to go through if they wish to make a complaint about the treatment by their education provider.

How do I get a copy of the Code?

You can download a full copy of the Code of Practice (PDF, 310KB) or a a short summary pamphlet (PDF, 129KB). These documents are also available in other languages:

The Ministry of Education owns the Code and will continue to develop it. Policy related information and documents are available from the Ministry of Education website. 

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