Review of university entrance 2010

Update on progress of review of university entrance

The summary report Review of University Entrance 2010: Summary of submissions responding to proposed changes to university entrance (PDF, 722KB) is now available.  Thank you to all of you (over 480) that took the time to make a submission.  The report contains a summary of the responses and the questions you raised in the feedback.  We have answered your questions – where we could.

The number and nature of the submissions has prolonged the review process.  We have obtained additional data, done more analysis and met with a number of representative bodies to address the concerns raised in their submissions.

As a result, recommendations for change are now being finalised.  The changes to the university entrance requirement will be announced early in July 2011.

Key findings

Despite just 30 percent of all school leavers going on to study at university, there is much interest in the proposed changes to the university entrance requirement.  We received a surprisingly large number of high-quality submissions responding to the consultation.  These submissions asked questions that made us look again at some of our assumptions.

To test our assumptions we obtained and used 2010 university enrolment data to ensure that our answers were as current as possible.  There are some questions (such as impacts of the proposed changes to the literacy requirements) that we are unable to answer.  We are also unable to predict either changes in student behaviour and motivation resulting from students being aware of changed requirements or the impact this awareness might have on achievement.

 As a result of the submissions we know that:

  • most respondents support adding attainment of NCEA Level 3 to university entrance
  • opinion is divided as to whether there should be a list of approved subjects
  • there is support for creating a sustainable method to construct and maintain a list of approved subjects (by using the New Zealand Curriculum and achievement standards at Level 3)
  • opinion was divided over whether students should do all three of their  subjects (14 credits each at Level 3) from the list of approved subjects
  • most respondents agreed with the proposed numeracy requirement but some universities thought the proposed requirement was lower than the existing one
  • there was not enough information on the various literacy options for respondents to give full feedback but most thought the requirement should be about literacy, not English, and both Level 2 and Level 3 standards should contribute to the requirement.

We received a lot of detailed feedback in answer to the consultation questions. The technical advisory and steering groups will consider this feedback in making recommendations to the Board of NZQA on changes to the university entrance requirement.

Report of the Youth Consultation on the University Entrance Standard

Read the report containing the responses to the proposed changes to university entrance collected from young people by the Ministry of Youth Development.

Consultation on proposed changes to UE

Consultation on the proposed changes to the university entrance requirement closed 6 December 2010.  Any queries regarding UE consultation can be directed to NZQA

Here are the consultation documents.

Summary of UE (PDF, 15KB)

1. NCEA Level 3 (PDF, 14KB)

2. 3 Subjects (PDF, 23KB)

3. List of approved subjects (PDF, 20KB)

4. Numeracy (PDF, 19KB)

5. Literacy (PDF, 23KB)

6. Implementation (PDF, 11KB)

UE proposals PDF (PDF, 343KB)

Review Background

The NZQA Board approved the undertaking of a review of university entrance late in 2009. The project will review the common educational standard for entrance to New Zealand universities known as university entrance.

The introduction of NCEA in 2001 necessitated a change to the then university entrance requirement. The requirement before the introduction of NCEA was the achievement of three C's in Bursary. The NZQA Board agreed a replacement common standard in 2003 for implementation in 2004. The NZQA Board also decided that the common standard should remain in place for at least two years and that the literacy requirement should be further considered after that period.

A review of the current requirements occurred in 2005 /2006. The only changes made through this review were the additions of subjects to the list of approved subjects. However, it was noted that the literacy requirements would need further work in the future.

The common standard should provide evidence that a student has a reasonable chance of success at degree level study.

As tertiary education organisations other than universities deliver degrees, the possibility of applying a common standard for entrance to degree level study beyond universities will be explored within the review.

Special admission (entry to university by students 20 years old and over without university entrance) is also related to entrance to university. Therefore, the Ministry of Education will address special admission as part of this review.

Students seeking entry into universities or tertiary educational organisations for the 2014 academic year will be the first to use any changes made to the common standard.

An advisory group has been formed to provide expert advice to the project working group. The advisory group includes tertiary and secondary school students and knowledge holders from the university, wider tertiary education and senior secondary schooling sectors. Following any decisions to change the existing common standard, consultation will be undertaken. Finally, any agreed changes will be communicated to secondary school students, their parents and the schooling and tertiary education sectors.

Read the Terms of Reference (PDF, 129KB) for the Review of university entrance, 2010

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