NZQA 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.

Ministry of Education

Flag of the Peoples Republic of China

NZQA has been working closely with the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Education since 2003 when New Zealand tertiary education providers (TEOs) were first added to the Jiaoyu Shewai Jianguan Xinxiwang (JSJ) Study Abroad website. 

Currently all of New Zealand’s eight universities, some Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and Private Training Establishments are listed on the website.

The JSJ web site is maintained by the Chinese Ministry of Education.  It lists TEOs outside China that are recognised by the Chinese government as meeting the criteria for quality. This is important to New Zealand TEOs as it gives Chinese students and their families confidence when selecting an education provider in New Zealand.

NZQA regularly monitors TEOs listed on the JSJ website to ensure  they continue to satisfy criteria for listing agreed with the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand. NZQA also supports the Chinese Embassy by identifing addtional TEOs that meet the criteria for inclusion on the list.

To be considered for listing on the JSJ Study Abroad website, TEOs must:

  • be signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students Code of Practice) 2016
  • be a Category 1 or 2 provider, with evidence of maintaining this level over time
  • offer degrees (at Level 7 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework)
  • not be a specialist English language school
  • not be only a distance education provider
  • not deliver religious programmes
  • not be subject to current statutory actions that relate to any aspect of the other listing criteria.

While the criteria are used to identify TEOs that may be considered suitable for listing on the JSJ Study Abroad website, the decision about which TEOs are listed on the website remains at the discretion of the Chinese Ministry of Education.

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.

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 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 each year.  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, please email

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 relationship with CSCSE which has been built on several years of dialogue and exchange in qualifications recognition and quality assurance.

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

CSCSE and SQA have a formal arrangement whereby the Scottish Higher National Diploma (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 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

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