Offshore use of qualifications and programmes

Qualifications listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) can be used offshore. This page provides information about the development of programmes and qualifications for use in countries other than New Zealand.

NZQF Offshore Programme Delivery

Non-university providers proposing to deliver an NZQF qualification offshore must apply to NZQA for programme approval and accreditation.

Applicants must also meet the NZQF Offshore Programme Delivery Rules, which ensure offshore programmes have outcomes of comparable quality to programmes delivered in New Zealand.

See the Offshore programme delivery page for further information about and guidance for applications for offshore programme delivery.

Qualifications at levels 1-6 for specific overseas requirements

New Zealand qualification developers can apply to NZQA to list a qualification at levels 1-6 on the NZQF that meets particular offshore needs, but only where existing New Zealand qualifications are not suitable.

Any qualifications listed at levels 1-6 of the NZQF that meet specific overseas requirements will also be listed on this page.

All qualifications for specific overseas requirements must meet the NZQF operational and listing rules 2012 (incorporating the 2013 Amendments).

Changes to the NZQF Operational and Listing Rules

Amendments to the rules to enable qualifications for overseas requirements came into effect on 8 November 2013.

For more information, see a fact sheet (PDF, 82KB) on qualifications for specific overseas requirements.

History of Offshore Delivery feedback

2011 - Offshore education questionnaire results

In 2011, NZQA circulated a questionnaire to providers on offshore education. The questionnaire sought an understanding of the scale and type of current and potential future offshore education delivery.

See Offshore Education Questionnaire Results (PDF, 35KB)

2016 - Summary of feedback on the offshore delivery consultation

In October 2016, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) invited feedback from tertiary education organisations (TEOs) on the Offshore Programme Delivery Rules 2012 settings and on the update of the Offshore Programme Delivery Guidelines 2012.

NZQA received 25 submissions:

Submission authorNumber of responses
Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) 7 (3 of which were from the same ITP)
Private Training Establishments (PTE) 13 (2 of which were from the same PTE)
Education sector peak body 2 (both from the same peak body)
Unidentified 4

The feedback from the survey has been summarised into key findings. For more details, please see the survey results and NZQA’s response (PDF, 173KB) (Appendix One) and the original survey (PDF, 224KB) (Appendix Two).   

Key findings

The distinctive value/benefits of a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualification Framework are its high quality reputation, credibility and international recognition.

The benefits of offshore delivery in languages other than English are:

  • students gain unique knowledge and experience in the context of their own language and cultural environment
  • TEOs gain access to additional markets and build relationships with offshore organisations
  • New Zealand is aligned with Australia and the United Kingdom by allowing offshore delivery in languages other than English.

The risks of offshore delivery in languages other than English are:

  • difficult to quality assure
  • potential damage to the reputation and credibility of New Zealand qualifications if not properly quality assured
  • employer expectations that a graduate with a New Zealand qualification is fluent in English and can work under New Zealand conditions.

NZQA must be efficient and flexible in order to enable TEOs to respond to demand and compete in the offshore delivery market.

The same quality assurance arrangements for qualifications delivered in New Zealand should apply to qualifications delivered offshore.

In addition to the examples and clarifications that NZQA has proposed to add to the updated Offshore Guidelines, TEOs asked for examples of offshore delivery arrangements featuring:

  • private training establishments
  • offshore arrangements with TEOs from Australia and the Middle East.

TEOs also asked for clarification about:

  • delivery in languages other than English
  • NZQA’s requirement for an offshore delivery site visit
  • Student fee protection arrangements
  • NZQA’s expectations for offshore quality management systems.

Next steps

NZQA will publish the updated Offshore Guidelines by September 2017.

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