QA News

QA News Issue 84
- 09 Jun 2014

ISSN 1170-3318 (Online)

QA News provides information about NZQA activities. It is produced by NZQA four times per year.

In this edition:

Chief Executive's News
Top Scholar Awards
NCEA App Guide
Collaboration with Samoan and Tongan Qualification Authorities
Education Amendment Bill
Enhancing Mātauranga Māori and Global Indigenous Knowledge
Training and Apprenticeships Act 2014
Report on NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship data released
Self-assessment case studies available
Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia
Staff profile

 Chief Executive's News

A highlight of my calendar each year is NZQA’s Top Scholar awards ceremony, a chance to recognise our top performing students in the New Zealand Scholarship examinations.

Having so much talent, potential and enthusiasm gathered together makes for a very special event.

This year the ceremony was held in Parliament’s Grand Hall and both Prime Minister John Key, and Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata presented the awards.

A special mention of former Auckland Grammar student Byung-Cheol Cho, who received this year’s Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence.

The profiles of the award winners, showcased at the event, illustrate the outstanding talent we have moving through the New Zealand education system.  

Speaking of the future, our Future State Programme continues to recognize the changing education landscape.

We live in a borderless, digital world and need to meet the needs of learners in the second decade of the 21st century.

In line with this objective, this May we launched our first ever App. Called the NCEA guide, the App is for parents, whānau and employers and provides quick and easy access to key information about NCEA.

Another colourful event on the NZQA calendar, Top Art, is now in full swing.  Top Art is an exhibition showcasing a selection of NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year.

Five streams are covered: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

This exhibition is both an opportunity for members of the public to see the fantastic artwork coming out of our secondary schools and a chance for students studying art to see what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3.

You can view the exhibition schedule here, which includes dates and contact details for each exhibition venue.

Photographs of the work can also be viewed in our online exhibition or on our Top Art Facebook page.

From art to statistics, our Annual Report on NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship data for 2013 was published in May.

Schools tell us the report is particularly valuable as it allows them to see the national performance of students studying towards NCEA and Scholarship.

Until next time, keep warm.

Ngā Mihi


 Top Scholar Awards

New Zealand’s best and brightest students have been celebrated at this year’s NZQA Top Scholar Awards, held at Parliament on 7 May.

Top Subject Scholar awards were presented to 35 young people, recognising the highest achieving student in each individual New Zealand Scholarship subject.

Ten Premier Awards were also presented by the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata.

The highest accolade of the day went to former Auckland Grammar student Byung-Cheol Cho, who received this year’s Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Byung-Cheol Cho achieved an incredible seven New Zealand Scholarships, including five Outstanding Scholarships.

NZQA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Thornton, described the event as a highlight on the NZQA calendar.

“It’s tremendous to have all of these very talented young people together in one place, and to celebrate their amazing achievements. These scholars represent the cream of the crop.  Our vision is that every young New Zealander has the chance to reach their full potential, and have it recognised by a qualifications system which is robust and recognised both nationally and internationally.”

Recipients of Premier Awards and the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence are recommended to NZQA by an expert panel of academics.

Last year almost 11,000 students participated in the New Zealand Scholarship examinations, with 2,386 students achieving a scholarship. These students are scheduled to receive almost $3.7 million towards their further study over the next three years.

Premier Awards carry a monetary award of $10,000 each year for up to three years of tertiary study. Outstanding Scholars each receive $5,000 per year for up to three years and Top Subject Scholar Awards each receive $2,000 per year for up to three years.  Awardees are required to maintain at least a B-grade average during the year’s they receive the monetary grant.

Top Scholars 2013

For more information about the awards and a full list of award winners, see Top Scholar Awards ceremony.

 NCEA App Guide

screen shot of ncea guide app  screen shot of ncea guide app 

NZQA has launched a new mobile App called NCEA Guide written for parents, whānau and employers.

The App provides quick and easy access to key information about NCEA and makes practical information about NCEA more easily accessible, enabling parents and whānau to access simple content about how NCEA works and how they can support family members studying in NCEA.

The App also supports employers seeking to understand and evaluate NCEA graduates and their qualification. Content can be viewed in English and Te Reo Māori.

The NCEA Guide App is free to download from the Apple App store and Google Play Store, and NZQA is welcoming feedback.

Collaboration with Samoan and Tongan Qualification Authorities 

An NZQA team, led by Aaron Nonoa, recently returned from spending two weeks at the Samoan Qualifications Authority in Apia.

Samoan Qualifications StaffAaron says this was the first time some team members had travelled to Samoa and Tonga, and the first time a team had stayed for more than a week.

The trip is a continuation of the State Sector Development Partnership Fund project which involves using NZQA experience and expertise to develop staff and organisational capability in Samoa and Tonga.

“Their senior management teams also point to improved skills and work processes. All of this is done in the context of Samoa and Tonga’s educational, cultural and social needs.

“We’re nearing the end of the third year of this five year project. The overall aim is for the Samoan Qualifications Authority and the Tongan Qualifications Authority to have robust frameworks and quality assurance processes, based on international good practice. Both agencies have provided glowing feedback about the value of NZQA’s input.”

Education Amendment Bill 

The Education Amendment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament. Submissions closed 30 April.

The Bill contains a number of technical provisions relating to student fee protection and enforcement provisions that reinforce changes made in the 2011 Education Amendment Act.

In addition the Bill lays out the foundation for the final transfer of the Code of Pastoral Care from the Ministry of Education to NZQA.

Enhancing Mātauranga Māori and Global Indigenous Knowledge 

A new publication titled Enhancing Mātauranga Māori and Global Indigenous Knowledge, launched by NZQA, will serve as an important resource for learners interested in Māori and indigenous knowledge.

The book brings together the narratives of fourteen Māori and international scholars on indigenous theories of knowledge.

Deputy Chief Executive, Daryn Bean, says the new book is the second publication produced by NZQA and Ngā Kaitūhono, NZQA’s Māori Advisory Board. The first book, Conversations on Mātauranga Māori, was launched in July 2012.

“Both publications support the goal to advance the use of mātauranga Māori. The books will be useful for students, teachers and academics researching mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge, as well as those interested in applying Māori and indigenous contexts in teaching, learning and assessment. The contributions by international indigenous academics offer global ideas about indigenous knowledge and foster important connections.  The book was launched at a special event held on 27 March, which also served as a pre-cursor to the Festival of Education conference which was held in Wellington on the same weekend.

The publication was launched by Minister of Education Hekia Parata and NZQA Board Chair, Sue Suckling and was attended by various iwi and education organisation representatives. The book is available to read online (PDF, 3.9MB).

Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 2014 

The Industry Training and Apprenticeship Act was passed into law on 22 April.  As a result, NZQA is working on a set of rules and changes to reflect the new laws.

The main impact for training organisations is that NZQA will now use the same quality assurance process for this sector as it does for all other organisations.

Deputy Chief Executive Quality Assurance, Jane von Dadelszen, says NZQA is working closely with Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) to develop a set of processes that work for both the authority and the training organisations.

“This is an opportunity for training organisations to have their say and make sure the processes put in place serve the needs of both industry and students alike.”

Report on NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship data released

The Annual report on NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship Data and Statistics (2013) publication, presenting analysis of 2013 assessments, is now available.

The publication provides information on:

  • the 2013 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship results and comparisons with those of prior years
  • NCEA Retentions 2009 – 2013
  • achievement in NCEA and University Entrance, broken down by gender, ethnicity and school decile
  • Certificate Endorsement and Course Endorsement
  • NCEA Literacy and Numeracy achievement by gender, ethnicity and decile band
  • the 2013 New Zealand Scholarship awards
  • NCEA administrative processes.

Electronic copies of previous annual reports are also available.

Self-assessment case studies available 

Case studies on tertiary education organisations (TEOs) that have used self-assessment to improve their educational performance have been published on the NZQA website.

NZQA and Ako Aotearoa undertook the studies of organisations that had taken part in external evaluation and review.

The case studies look at five organisations representing the range of non-university tertiary education. They offer examples of effective practice and illustrate self-assessment that has been done well and has led to good outcomes.

A key message is that there are multiple ways to approach self-assessment.  Self-assessment needs to be based on and reflect an organisation’s own goals, philosophy, the learners and communities they serve, and the context in which they operate. 

The TEOs that took part in the case studies were Building and Construction ITO, Otago Polytechnic, People Potential, Tūranga Ararau and Eastern Institute of Technology.

For more information see: Case studies in self-assessment.

Printed copies are available for purchase from Ako Aotearoa.

 Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia

Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia

More than 100 outstanding New Zealand students have been given the opportunity to study at top Asian institutions after receiving a scholarship from the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia cover overseas study, research or internships ranging from six weeks to two years at undergraduate or postgraduate level at top Asian institutions.

At an event to mark the programme’s first year, Prime Minister John Key and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce congratulated recipients.

Successful recipients include a student from Otago University, who will study chemistry and pharmacology at the National University of Singapore, and a group from the New Zealand Institute of Fashion Technology who will deepen their design and manufacturing knowledge working on a collaborative project with Indian students at a partner institution in Tamil Nadu.

The inaugural awards were made in December 2013, with many recipients still completing their studies throughout Asia. This next round of scholarships will enable 103 people to study overseas.

Applications are open for the next round of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and close 28 September 2014. Applications can be made by individuals or groups; follow this link for a full list of application criteria.

For more information, Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia.

 Staff Profile

NZQA’s recently appointed Manager Quality Assurance Strategy, Arama Johnston, describes every day at work as an adventure.

“The best part of my job is that no two issues are alike. One day I could be dealing with standards related to te reo Māori, the next it could be equine dentistry.”

Arama’s work involves getting all the different parts of the Quality Assurance Division to work together.

He says good quality assurance means good qualifications, students with prospects, providers that are innovative and all operating as business as usual.

“We’re investing in futures. If we do our job right, it’s the whole community that benefits. I look after everything we do concerning quality assurance division and how what we do interacts with all the different stakeholders we have.”

As a father of three children, two of whom are going through NCEA, Arama also has a personal interest in education.

“They’re thriving, and enjoying their studies at level one and three. It’s great to see first-hand the system working and the opportunities it offers learners.”

Prior to taking this role, Arama worked as a risk manager at NZQA. He has more than 20 years’ experience in both public and private sector organisations.

He has extensive overseas policy experience in trade, economics and aid, including an overseas post which included time with UN operations in Cambodia, and has held a number of business development roles.  

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