Future State

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Acting Board Chair Neil Quigley

WWW N QuigleyThe world is rapidly changing.

Advances in technology have already resulted in an employment market that is different from what it was 15 years ago. Knowledge based jobs that were once plentiful are becoming increasingly automated. At this rate of change, the future employment market will be vastly different in another 15 years.

To meet these evolving needs, employers require 21st Century skills from their workforce and employees need to ensure their skills are up-to-date.

The nature of learning is also changing. Learners want to learn and build skills using technologies that are now ubiquitous in other areas of their lives. There is a focus on ensuring technology and services support the education system commitment to improving equity and supporting lifelong learning.

Our Future State portfolio is focused on ensuring that NZQA’s services are fit for purpose to meet the current and future needs of learners, education providers and employers. It is preparation for tomorrow today.

Chief Executive Karen Poutasi

Karen Poutasi cropaug17"Qualify for the Future World: Kia noho takatū ki tō āmua ao" encapsulates NZQA’s role and ambitions for learners and for New Zealand.

What does the future hold? NZQA needs to respond to the global and digital environment that is integral to the first decades of the 21st century. The changes we are making now will lead to NCEA being online, on-demand, anywhere, anytime. The way we do assessments and what we assess will change.

Our customers want robust assessment and quality assurance processes that lead to relevant and portable qualifications. And these qualifications need to prepare learners for a swiftly changing world of work and civic responsibility At NZQA we are interested in how technology lifts the 'possibilities' for learners.

About Future State

NZQA’s vision is for the learners of New Zealand to ‘Qualify for the Future World: Kia noho takatū ki tō āmua ao’. To achieve this we need to understand and respond to a global environment that is rapidly changing.

The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has begun and it is one of the most transformational eras in human history. Technology advances, digital natives, the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), badging and micro credentialing, and international expectations are all changing the learner experience.

The nature and type of employment is expected to shift dramatically in the coming years. For instance:

  • on average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today
  • by one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that do not yet exist
  • 46% of jobs are at risk of computerisation and automation over the next 20 years.

The nature of learning is also changing. There is a focus on ensuring technology and services support the education system commitment to accelerating Māori and Pasifika learner success, including advancing the use of mātauranga Māori.

NZQA’s response to these challenges is the development of our Future State portfolio of work. 

Future State complements the whole-of-system work to enhance student learning and wider international research on the most critical 21st Century skills, which are seen as essential to this changing economy.

Future State is focused on ensuring that NZQA’s services are fit for purpose to meet the current and future needs of learners, education providers, employers and society in a world that is increasingly global, digital and connected.  

The portfolio includes the following focus areas aimed at helping learners qualify for the future world:

  1. Improving the experience of our customers - ensuring that NZQA’s services are easy to access and use, and that we respond to the changing needs of our customers
  2. Quality assurance in a borderless world - ensuring New Zealand qualifications and “badges” are trusted and recognised, transferable and portable both nationally and internationally.
  3. Moving to digital assessment - utilising new technologies to deliver assessments that reflect digitally supported teaching and learning, are available online and eventually available “anytime”
  4. Flexible business information - ensuring that qualifications data and other information captured by NZQA is reliable, easy to manage, accessible (i.e. we are moving to self-service) and supports the use of analytics
  5. Ensuring our core systems continue to support our business needs - this work will support all the other projects, and NZQA’s business as usual, by ensuring that NZQA moves towards flexible, modular, cost-effective IT systems that can support changing business needs.

Interwoven with the Future State work, we also have two other key strategies, Te Kōkiritanga 2017-2020 and Takiala Pasifika 2017-2020, and programmes of work to reach our goals for Māori and Pasifika learner achievement in STEM subjects. These are both critical strategies to ensuring success for Māori and Pacific learners and providers that support them.

To ensure we continue to meet the needs of learners within rapidly changing contexts, we have set ourselves three measures that we aim to achieve by 2020:

  • NCEA examinations available online
  • Qualification recognition arrangements with at least 50 countries
  • Partner with education system agencies to support a 50% lift of Māori and Pasifika student achievement at NCEA Level 3 in one or more standards in STEM subject related areas.

We are undertaking Future State at the same time as business as usual – we will continue to offer the same level of service to all our clients while ensuring the way we do business prepares us to meet the demands of the 21st Century.

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