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NZQA’s International Policy and Liaison Unit works to ensure effective communication with key Chinese partner agencies to be able to inform and support New Zealand education providers’ engagement with China around topics ranging from qualifications recognition to joint programmes.

China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC)

CDGDC is an administrative institution directly under the Chinese Ministry of Education, with primary responsibility for researching the comparability between Chinese and foreign education qualifications, verifying Chinese education credentials, maintaining the database for China’s academic degrees and graduate education, evaluating Chinese graduate education programmes, and quality assuring China-foreign jointly run schools and programmes.

NZQA has been working with CDGDC since November 2014 to explore the comparability of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and the Chinese qualifications system.

CDGDC has been appointed by the Chinese Ministry of Education to design a national qualifications framework (NQF) for China.  NZQA has met with the Open University of Guangdong in November 2016.  The Open University has been tasked by the CDGDC to research and make recommendations on the development and implementation of a qualifications framework model for the Guangdong province.

NZQA will remain closely engaged with CDGDC during the development and subsequent implementation of the NQF.

China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE)

CEAIE is affiliated to China’s Ministry of Education to assist in running international exchange and cooperation programmes nationwide. CEAIE’s headquarters are in Beijing, and has provincial associations for international exchanges in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as well as local chapters in 16 major cities.  Its members include institutions from the entire education sector in China.

CEAIE has established a wide network with partner associations and institutions at home, and long-term working relationships with over 170 educational organisations in more than 50 countries and regions, including NZQA.

CEAIE processes applications for New Zealand-China joint run programmes twice per year: March/April and September/October.  CEAIE contacts NZQA during each application round to assist in verifying the legitimacy of the applications received.

For more information about CEAIE processes in approving New Zealand-China joint run programmes, see China Education Association for International Exchange and New Zealand-China joint programme applications.

Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE)

CSCSE is a public institution affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Education.  It is responsible for the recognition of foreign qualifications in China.  It provides recognition services for Chinese graduates with foreign qualifications returning to China for work or further study, and for foreign nationals wishing to work or study in China.

NZQA has a strong relationship with CSCSE which has been built on several years of dialogue and exchange in qualifications recognition and quality assurance.  NZQA has a formal arrangement with CSCSE for development in cooperation in the recognition of overseas qualifications.

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Higher National Diploma (HND)

CSCSE and SQA have a formal arrangement whereby the HND is delivered in English in China.  The arrangement provides a pathway to degree-level study overseas for Chinese holders of the qualification, including to education providers in New Zealand.

New Zealand tertiary education organisations that develop pathway arrangements for the HND with CSCSE or assess learners that have obtained an HND qualification for entry into programmes in New Zealand are required to ensure they comply with the regulatory requirements for the enrolment of international students

NZQA’s Qualifications Recognition Services has previously assessed completed HND qualifications as comparable with the learning outcomes of Levels 5 and 6 of the NZQF.  The assessed level of comparability is dependent on the specific HND programme and a case-by-case assessment of the individual holder’s qualification.

NZQA has completed a report outlining the SQA HND delivery in China which outlines all the requirements and outcomes.  A copy of the report can be obtained by emailing

Ministry of Education

NZQA has worked closely with the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Education since 2003 when New Zealand education providers were first added to the Jiaoyu Shewai Jianguan Xinxiwang (JSJ) Study Abroad web site.  More education providers were added in 2006, in 2014, and again in 2016. Currently all of New Zealand’s eight universities, 15 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and 19 Private Training Establishments are listed on the web site.

The JSJ web site is maintained by the Chinese Ministry of Education.  It lists education providers outside China that have been recognised by the Chinese government as high quality education providers.  This is important to New Zealand education institutions as it makes them visible to Chinese students choosing high quality education providers in New Zealand.  More than 30,000 international students from China studied in New Zealand in 2015. 

NZQA coordinates the approval process for New Zealand providers. Providers that believe that they are eligible to be listed on the PTE list must contact Angela Gordon, Senior Policy Analyst, International Policy and Liaison Unit at (04) 463 4265 or

Recent visits

February 2016 Xi’an Municipal Education Bureau
March 2016 CSCSE
May 2016 CEAIE
October 2016 Open University of Guangdong
December 2016 Shanghai Municipal Educational Examinations Authority
To China
December 2016 NZQA presented at the China International Forum on Cross-border Education

Contact us

For more information, or to give us feedback, please email us

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