Background to the Tertiary Education Qualification Statement (TEQS)

As party to the Lisbon Recognition Convention, New Zealand is obliged to promote a Diploma Supplement or equivalent.  The Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority initiated a project to determine the desirability and feasibility of implementing a Diploma Supplement or equivalent. A reference group was formed to guide development of a Diploma Supplement model for New Zealand.  This reference group comprised representatives from universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wananga and private training establishments, as well as from student and business organisations.

A discussion paper Considering a Diploma Supplement or equivalent for New Zealand (PDF, 716KB) was released for consultation in early 2009. Submission results are collated in this document Considering a Diploma Supplement or equivalent for New Zealand: Submission Results and Analysis (PDF, 148KB).

Review of TEQS uptake and international developments of the Diploma Supplement

In 2010 NZQA surveyed tertiary education organisations (organisations) about their uptake of the Tertiary Education Qualification Statement (TEQS).   All tertiary organisations were asked whether they had implemented a TEQS, the reasons for their decisions and other general questions.  There was a low response rate from organisations.

The organisations that responded agreed that a TEQS would benefit students and employers.  In particular, organisations noted the benefits for students returning from, or travelling, overseas or enrolling in other institutions after a term at the provider.  While a small number of organisations have implemented a TEQS, most organisations are watching to see how Diploma Supplements (the international equivalents of the TEQS) develop before implementing them.

In 2010 the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum commissioned a project to examine the nature and extent of diploma supplement developments in APEC countries.  In addition, the project explored the possibility of consensus around common elements and guiding principles for diploma supplements in the APEC region.  The HRDWG report is called Higher Education Diploma Supplements Among APEC Member Economies.

There was widespread support among survey respondents for APEC assistance in the promotion of diploma supplements.  In particular, there was endorsement for the development of a voluntary, non-binding template and associated principles – an ‘APEC Diploma Supplement Model’.

The HRWDG are now considering commencing a project that will develop a voluntary, non-binding APEC Diploma Supplement template.  This will not affect the templates of countries that have already developed one like New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Qualification Statement.  The HRWDG project should raise awareness of, and use of, diploma supplement type documents.

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