Proposed changes to NZQA Rule

Open for Consultation 11 Dec 2018 - 11 Feb 2019

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is consulting on proposed changes to 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.

The proposed changes respond to risks that NZQA and Immigration New Zealand have identified in the tertiary education sector.

What we are consulting on?

We propose 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 are consulting 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 propose 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.

Measuring the impact on your organisation

We are seeking your comments on the proposed changes and invite you to outline what steps your organisation would need to take to adapt to these changes and how long you would need.

Other possible internationally recognised qualifications in English

Please let us know if there are any other internationally recognised secondary school leavers qualifications taught and assessed in English that you would like to see included in Rule 18.

How can I give my feedback?

We invite you to read the consultation paper (PDF, 233KB) and give your feedback through the online survey. You have until 5pm 11 February 2019 to complete the survey.

You can also send your feedback in an email to or in writing to:

NZQF Review
Quality Assurance Division
PO Box 160
Wellington 6140

We aim to communicate the results of consultation in March 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.

If you’d like your submission to be anonymous, please do not supply your name or your organisation’s name.

Further questions

If you have any further questions or concerns, please email

Find information for...

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us