Proposed changes to NZQA Rule

Closed 11 Feb 2019

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is reviewing Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

We regularly review the Rules to ensure that they are clear, address emerging risks and enable us to effectively perform our quality assurance functions.

What we were consulting on

We proposed to strengthen the evidence requirements for international students seeking to meet the English language entry requirements by using prior schooling where English was the language of instruction (Rule 18.5).

Changes to Rule 18

We consulted on two main changes to Rule 18:

  1. Removing the student visa decline rate from Rule 18. This would no longer be the measure for when prior schooling with English as the language of instruction could be used as evidence of English proficiency.
  2. To use this provision, international students would need to have either:
  • completed their schooling in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the UK or the United States; or
  • been awarded an internationally recognised qualification taught in English such as an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Cambridge ‘A’ Levels.

We also proposed to simplify the structure of Rule 18 for both clarity and consistency. You can review the current text of Rule 18 at NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

We invited you to outline what steps your organisation would need to take to adapt to these changes and how long you would need. We also asked what other internationally recognised secondary school leavers qualifications taught and assessed in English you would like to see included in Rule 18.

Thank you for your feedback

We invited you to read the consultation paper (PDF, 233KB) and give your feedback. The online survey has now closed.

Consultation was from 11 December 2018 to 11 February 2019.

NZQA will communicate the results of this consultation in April 2019.

Consultation results and the Official Information Act 1982

Please note that the submissions may be requested by a member of the public under the Official Information Act 1982.

NZQA will protect the privacy of submitters by removing information that identifies individuals unless they waive that protection.

Further questions

If you have any further questions or concerns, please email

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