Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students

What students need to know

The Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019 (the interim Code) comes into effect on 1 January 2020.

The interim Code sets out a general duty of pastoral care that tertiary education providers have for domestic tertiary students, and specific requirements for those that provide student accommodation.

In relation to student accommodation, providers are required to support the safety and wellbeing of students and improve the consistency of standards in student accommodation.

The general duty of pastoral care under the Code covers physical safety, access to advice and support services, physical and mental health support, freedom from discrimination and racism, support for transition to tertiary study, and the opportunity to take part in decision making on support services.

You do not need to do anything. If at any time you have concerns about something that has directly affected you or someone you know at an education organisation, you can find information on what to do on our complaints information page.

Education providers will be required to make any changes that may be necessary to comply with the interim Code.

The interim Code applies for domestic students. International students already have strong protections in place through the existing Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, which covers safety, wellbeing and accommodation.

What providers need to know

The Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019 (the interim Code) sets out a general duty of pastoral care that tertiary education providers have for domestic tertiary students, and specific requirements for those who provide student accommodation.

All tertiary education providers are expected to comply with the interim Code. For many providers, this won’t mean a lot of change or expense because they already look after their students well.

The interim Code will apply from 1 January 2020. NZQA will take a capability-building approach in 2020, to ensure that tertiary education providers understand and give effect to their Code responsibilities, particularly their student accommodation obligations.

Providers will be encouraged to review their internal systems, informed by guidelines and workshops that will be provided by NZQA in the first half of 2020.

NZQA will investigate complaints and take follow-up statutory action if necessary, appropriate to the seriousness of the breach and the provider’s actions to remedy the problem.

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the international Code) will still apply for international education Code signatories. The only change is that the new offence and penalty provisions for pastoral care will also apply to the international Code. This is to ensure equal protection for both domestic and international students.

The interim domestic Code is for tertiary students, so the impact on schools is minimal. Schools that are signatories to the international Code will be subject to the new offence and penalty provisions.

What NZQA will do

NZQA is the Code Administrator; and may delegate some university-related code administration responsibilities to Universities New Zealand.

NZQA will work with tertiary education providers to give effect to their student wellbeing responsibilities, particularly their student accommodation obligations.

  Capability-building Quality assurance
January - March Develop guidelines for the interim domestic Code, in consultation with Universities New Zealand and the sector. Establish the quality assurance framework and processes. Investigate complaints or allegations brought to NZQA’s attention, and support providers to give effect to the interim domestic Code.

NZQA can take follow-up statutory action if necessary, appropriate to the seriousness of the breach and the provider’s actions to remedy the problem.
April - June Run presentations, information sessions and workshops to raise providers’ awareness of their responsibilities under the interim domestic Code.

Workshops may also provide opportunities for input from providers to help develop the ongoing Code.
Communicate quality assurance processes and expectations with providers.
July - December Continue to build capability as needed. Targeted monitoring and integrating the interim domestic Code in External Evaluation and Review processes.

For further enquiries, please email code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.

 
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