Review of university entrance requirements 2016–2017

Update to Review of University Entrance

NZQA has concluded the evidence gathering phase of the review. We have talked extensively to stakeholders and considered the available data.

NZQA has prepared a UE Review Discussion Document (PDF, 910KB) that summarises the views heard during the evidence gathering phase and analysis of the available data. It presents some initial conclusions and makes some suggestions for operational improvements of the University Entrance requirements.

NZQA is seeking feedback on these initial conclusions and suggestions for improvements.

The closing date for submissions is 28 April 2017.


Key feedback from stakeholders:

  • there should be no changes to the University Entrance requirements at this time
  • support for the alignment of the University Entrance requirements with NCEA Level 3
  • some concerns from all major stakeholders about the literacy and numeracy requirements, but no consensus for change
  • a range of views on the requirement for 14 credits from each of three approved subjects
  • a regular review for the maintenance of subjects on the list of approved subjects is required
  • schools and wharekura find it challenging to provide accurate advice to students regarding tertiary education organisations' requirements for degree-level programmes.

Our initial conclusions are:

  • University Entrance must balance opportunity of access for students with their chances of success
  • the University Entrance requirements currently appear to be about right
  • NZQA can consider some operational changes to improve the effectiveness of the requirements and the relevance of University Entrance.

Next steps

Once the Advisory Group has considered the feedback to the discussion document, it will provide advice and recommendations to the NZQA's Board on the next steps. The range of options that will be considered are:

  • no changes should be made to the University Entrance requirements, but
  • some improvements could be made to the operational policies and processes that guide NZQA's implementation of the University Entrance requirements, or
  • changes to University Entrance should be considered and public consultation is necessary to gather feedback on the proposed changes.

We will continue to keep you informed of progress on the Review.

Review of University Entrance 2016–2017

NZQA is responsible for establishing a common educational standard as a prerequisite for entrance to university. University Entrance is intended to provide evidence that a student has a reasonable chance of success at degree level study.

NZQA periodically considers the university entrance requirements to ensure that they remain relevant and up to date. The university entrance requirements were last reviewed in 2010 and a number of key changes were made. These included changes to the approved subject list and raising the literacy requirements. The changes were fully implemented by 2014.

NZQA is again considering the university entrance requirements to ensure that the requirements remain useful and up to date. It will consider how well the changes agreed in 2010 are working and whether any other improvements could be made.

An advisory group is being established to provide expert advice. The group will include representatives from the university sector, other tertiary education organisations and senior secondary schooling sectors as well as officials from education agencies.

NZQA will consult with New Zealand universities on any proposals for change to the university entrance requirements and will also undertake public consultation on any proposed changes. Outcomes will be communicated to the sector by the end of 2016, with a clear and staged implementation plan.

The Terms of Reference for the review may be read here (PDF, 235KB).





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