Changes to NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018

Closed 11 Feb 2019

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has reviewed 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 consulted on

We proposed to strengthen the English language proficiency entry requirements for international students by making the following changes:

  • Removing the student visa decline rate as a measure for assuring English language proficiency.
  • Prior schooling where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction would continue to be accepted as evidence when that schooling was completed in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and South Africa.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma and Cambridge A Levels would be introduced as acceptable evidence when taught and assessed in English.
  • Simplify the structure of Rule 18.

Click here to view the original consultation paper (PDF, 233KB). The sector was invited to provide feedback on any of the proposed changes. Consultation closed on 11 February 2019.

Submissions received

NZQA received 28 submissions from institutes of technology and polytechnics, industry training organisations, private training establishments, peak bodies, individuals and other stakeholders.

The majority of submissions (86 per cent) supported the removal of the student visa decline rate as a measure for assuring English language proficiency. More than half of respondents supported the continued use of the prior schooling provision for enrolling international students from the countries noted above.

The consultation also highlighted sector support for the inclusion of other ways English language proficiency may be demonstrated, including high achievement in English language as a secondary school subject. While this is outside the scope of the current consultation, NZQA has noted these suggestions for further consideration.

For more details of the submissions NZQA received see the consultation summary (PDF, 149KB).

Changes to Rule 18

As a result of consultation, the following changes to Rule 18 have been made:

  • The student visa decline rate (SVDR) has been removed as a measure for assuring English language proficiency.
  • Prior schooling where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction may continue to be accepted as evidence when that schooling was completed in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and South Africa.
  • Pacific students who have been granted a New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarship funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be able to use prior schooling where English was the language of instruction as evidence.
  • International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International A level qualifications may be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency when taught and assessed in English.
  • The structure of Rule 18 has been simplified into clear and concise sections.

These changes apply from 1 August 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 qadconsultation@nzqa.govt.nz.

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