Changes to NZQA Rule

06 May 2019

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) consulted on proposed changes to NZQA Rules from 11 December 2018 to 11 February 2019. The proposals aimed to strengthen the English language proficiency requirements for international students.

As a result of this consultation, the Minister of Education has approved the following changes to Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

  • 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 (NZSTTS) funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to be able to use prior schooling where English was the language of instruction as evidence of English language proficiency.
  • International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International A level qualifications may be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency when the student was taught and assessed in English.
  • The structure of Rule 18 has been simplified into clear and concise sections.

The changes to Rule 18 will come into effect on 1 August 2019.

We encourage education organisations to review their policies against the new settings for English language proficiency, to ensure compliance for when they come into effect.

A copy of these changes as set out in the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Amendment Rules 2019 can be viewed here. (PDF, 290KB)

For more information on the consultation process, including a summary of the feedback we received, please click here.

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