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Education System of New Zeland


INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

University

Institute of Technology and Polytechnic

Wananga (Maori centers of tertiary learning)

Private Training Establishment

Specialist College

School leaving and higher education credentials:

National Certificate of Educational Achievement

New Zealand Scholarship (subject to review)

Certificate

Diploma

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's Degree with Honours

Master's Degree

Postgraduate Certificate

Postgraduate Diploma

Doctoral Degree

Higher Doctorate

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 16

Structure of school system:

Primary

Type of school providing this education: Primary School (Years 1-8)

Length of program in years: 8

Age level from: 5 to: 13

Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Secondary School (Years 9-13)

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 13 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: National Certificate of Educational Achievement

School education:

Primary education lasts for eight years. Children are permitted to enter school at 5 but must be enrolled by 6. Secondary education lasts for five years (from years 9 to 13). Entrance to secondary schools is non-selective. The basis of the school programme is the New Zealand Curriculum in the essential learning areas of Languages, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Social Sciences, the Arts, Health and Physical Wellbeing. The curriculum emphasizes the development of Communication, Numeracy, Information, Problem Solving, Self-Management and Competitive, Social and Co-operative, Physical, and Work and Study Skills. Diagnostic and formative assessment assists students to achieve the objectives set out in the national curriculum statements and published syllabuses. All national school qualifications are administered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Secondary schools also offer Unit Standard Credits between Levels 1-4 of the National Qualifications Framework (National Certificate Level).

Higher education:

Higher education is provided by three kinds of state tertiary institutions, each defined in legislation. They are universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and wananga (Maori centres of higher learning). Governance and funding, also defined by legislation, are identical for each type of institution. Each institution is governed by its own council, and is accountable to public sector accounting processes. Each institution determines its own programmes. In addition, there are several thousand private training establishments in New Zealand. More than 800 are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. They offer a wide range of courses. A small number are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to offer degrees. Private training establishments may be considered for government funding on a per student basis although the total amount available is capped.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Education Act (with several amendments including 2003 when the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) was established) Year: 1989

Decree: Industry Training Act Year: 1992

Academic year:

Classes from: Feb to: Nov

Long vacation from: 1 Nov to: 31 Jan

Languages of instruction: English, Maori

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Higher vocational and technical education is provided by the institutes of technology and polytechnics, wananga and private training establishments. Some vocational education occurs in a mix of this and practical on-the-job training. Courses offered include applied degrees, diplomas and certificates. Many courses now offered are registered on the National Qualification Framework (NQF). These qualifications are competency-based and standards-based assessment procedures apply.

University level studies:

University level first stage: Bachelor's Degree:

The first stage of tertiary education leads to the award of certificates, diplomas or Bachelor's Degrees. All three are available in all universities, some institutes of technology and polytechnics, wananga, and private training establishments. A Bachelor's Degree course is normally of three years' duration for Arts, Commerce, Science, Agriculture and Horticulture, four years for Engineering, Law, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Optometry and Physiotherapy, five years for Architecture, Dentistry and Veterinary Science, and six years for Medicine. Entry to a Bachelor's Degree with Honours is usually after the award of a first degree. In some Honours programmes selection may take place during the first degree programme on the basis of merit.

University level second stage: Master's Degree:

The second stage of tertiary education is available in universities and some institutes of technology and polytechnics and leads to a Master's Degree. A prerequisite is a Bachelor's Degree (sometimes with Honours) and the course of study is sometimes one year, more frequently two years, and may be as long as four years. A Master's Degree is typically awarded on the results of a piece of research through the presentation of a thesis. Becoming more common are Master's Degrees by coursework (often including a substantial research component) or by coursework combined with a thesis.

University level third stage: Doctor's Degree:

The third stage is where specialization becomes more focused and properly-directed research is crucial. After a minimum of two years' study (generally four years or longer) and the presentation of a thesis, for which a viva voce examination is normal, a student may be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). This degree is available at all universities in most subjects, and in one institute of technology and one wananga in a limited range of subjects. A Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is available at some universities. This may be completed in one year of full-time research, but typically requires longer. Candidates for the PhD or the MPhil must previously have completed at least a Bachelor's degree with first-or second-class Honours.

University level fourth stage: Higher Doctorate:

A range of Higher Doctorates is also available in Law, Letters, etc. These are normally awarded on the basis of published work. No graduate may apply for the award of a Higher Doctorate until at least five years after his/her first graduation from the institution.

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Teaching at the end of a three-year programme. Applicants must have met the requirements for entry to university. Entrants with a relevant degree may undertake a one-year pre-service programme and this pathway to primary teaching is becoming more common. Shortened courses are offered to overseas trained teachers whose qualifications do not meet the New Zealand requirements. Teacher registration is a legal requirement for employment as a primary school teacher. Beginning teachers must satisfactorily complete a two-year period of advice and guidance to move from provisional to full registration. Currently, primary teachers can undertake additional retraining as early childhood or secondary teachers as there are shortages of teachers in these sectors.

Training of secondary school teachers

To enter the secondary teaching pre-service programme a student must hold a degree in a subject that is relevant to the New Zealand curriculum. The programme for degree holders is of one year's duration. It is also possible to complete a four-year degree in a teaching subject or a four year concurrent subject and teaching double degree. Teacher registration is a legal requirement for employment as a secondary school teacher. Beginning teachers must satisfactorily complete a two-year period of advice and guidance to move from provisional to full registration.

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

The Open Polytechnic provides a full range of distance learning packages from certificate to degree levels by correspondence or online tuition. Massey University offers a range of degree and diploma courses by correspondence. The University of Otago complements the Massey University extramural programme by offering a number of courses through its 'teaching at a distance' teleconference network. The University of Waikato offers off-campus certificates at first-year undergraduate level in association with regional institutes of technology and polytechnics. Access to internationally offered degrees can be gained through some institutes of technology and polytechnics or the Internet.

Other forms of non-formal higher education

Non-formal education is provided by a wide range of education institutions and organizations. Day and evening classes for adults are provided by secondary schools, and institutes of technology and polytechnics provide a range of community education courses. Universities offer continuing education programmes in a range of subjects. Courses are also available to meet specific needs such as English as a Second Language and Adult Literacy.

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministry of Education/ Te Tahuhu o te Mataurauga

Head: Howard Fancy, Secretary for Education

PO Box 1666
45-47 Pipitea Street
Thorndon
Wellington 1
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4638000

Fax: +64(4) 4638001

WWW: http://www.minedu.govt.nz

Role of governing body: Policy adviser to government; funding and monitoring agency.

Tertiary Education Commission/ Te Amorangi Matauranga Matua

Head: Janice Shiner, Chief Executive

Level 10, 44 The Terrace, PO Box 27-048
Wellington
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4625200

Fax: +64(4) 4625400

EMail: info@tec.govt.nz

WWW: http://www.tec.govt.nz

Role of governing body: Responsible for funding all post-compulsory education and training offered by universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wananga, private training establishments, foundation education agencies, industry training organisations and adult and community education providers.

New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA)/ Mana Tohu Matauranga o Aotearoa

Head: Karen Poutasy, Chief Executive

PO Box 160, 125 The Terrace
Wellington, 1
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 8023000

Fax: +64(4) 8023112

EMail: info@nzqa.govt.nz

WWW: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz

Role of governing body: Assures secondary and tertiary qualifications and education providers, evaluates overseas qualifications and administers the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications and the National Qualifications Framework.

New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC)

Head: Lindsay Taiaroa, Executive Director

International relations: Dion Burns, Policy Analyst (International)

PO Box 11-915
94 Dixon Street (11th level)
Wellington 6034
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 3818500

Fax: +64(4) 3818501

WWW: http://www.nzvcc.ac.nz

Role of governing body: On behalf of the universities, the NZVCC gives policy advice, undertakes course approval, administers scholarships, and fosters links between the New Zealand system and those overseas.

The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITP-New Zealand)/ Ngã Whare Takiura o Aotearoa

Head: Jim Doyle, Executive Director

PO Box 10-344
Level 12, St. John House, 114 The Terrace
Wellington 1
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4711162

Fax: +64(4) 4732350

EMail: jimd@ITPNZ.ac.nz

WWW: http://www.itpnz.ac.nz

Role of governing body: Acts as an advocate for the 19 polytechnics and institutes of technology in New Zealand; promotes quality throughout the polytechnic and institute of technology sector; promotes the polytechnic and institute of technology education and training.

New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)/ Te Runanga o Aotearoa Mo te Rangahau I Te Matauranga)

Head: Robyn Baker, Director

PO Box 3237
Wellington
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 3847939

Fax: +64(4) 3847933

EMail: robyn.baker@nzcer.org.nz

WWW: http://www.nzcer.org.nz

Role of governing body: Fosters educational research of a high standard and disseminates its results; provides information, advice and assistance to those involved in education.

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to non university higher education studies

Other admission requirements:

Entry to vocational and technical studies is flexible. The National Qualifications Framework enables students to begin study towards registered National Certificates and Diplomas while still at secondary school. Early school leavers and adults with low school qualifications can study through the Training Opportunities Programme offered by private training establishments and institutes of technology and polytechnics to gain credit toward nationally recognized qualifications or obtain employment. Provision for adult entry exists for most courses offered at formal tertiary institutions. Recognition of Prior Learning assessments or transfer credit may also be offered.

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: National Certificate of Educational Achievement

Minimum score/requirement: A minimum of 42 credits at level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework

For entry to: Universities

Alternatives to credentials: Students who can demonstrate in other ways that they are adequately prepared may be admitted.

Numerus clausus/restrictions: The Education Act 1989 states in s224(5): "Where the Council of an institution is satisfied that it is necessary to do so because of insufficiency of staff, accommodation or equipment, the Council may determine a maximum number of students who may be enrolled in a particular course of study or training at the institution in a particular year".

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: Education Act 1989, s159:" 'Foreign student', at any time, means a person who is not then a domestic student".

Admission requirements: Foreign students should apply directly to the university of their choice. Students seeking first-year places must have acceptable university entrance qualifications, eg. Australia Year 12 and acceptable Tertiary Entrance Score; Malaysia STPM; UK any combination of 'A', 'AS' and GCSE which is acceptable for admission to a British university; USA High School Diploma and acceptable score in SAT; International Baccalaureate acceptable providing the diploma has been awarded (minimum 24 points); countries offering University of Cambridge International Examinations 3 passes at Advanced level (not including General Studies) including at least one C grade or better. All passes must be achieved at the same sitting.

Entry regulations: Foreign students intending to study in New Zealand should contact the nearest New Zealand embassy or high commission to obtain information on visa regulations. Alternatively, information on visas for New Zealand is available at www.immigration.govt.nz.

Language requirements: Unless student's mother tongue is English, evidence of competence in English is required. Requirements are: TOEFL (Min: 500-550) and IELTS (Min: 6.0-6.5),

Application procedures:

Apply to individual institution for entry to: University, Institute of Technology and Polytechnic, Wananga, Private training or government training establishments.

Application closing dates:

For university level studies: 1 Sep

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) oversees the setting of standards for national qualifications and undertakes course accreditation of institutions to teach recognized courses or assess to standards.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)/ Mana Tohu Matauranga o Aotearoa

Head: Pamela Hulston, Manager, Qualifications Recognition Service

PO Box 160
125 The Terrace
Wellington
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 8023000

Fax: +64(4) 8023112

EMail: helpdesk@nzqa.govt.nz

WWW: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: NZQA assesses overseas qualifications for comparability against the requirements of the nearest New Zealand qualification. Individual reports are issued for purposes of immigration, employment, entry to further study and professional recognition. An applicant's eligibility for entry to a profession is determined by the registration body. Intending students must apply to the institution of their choice.

New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC)

Head: Lindsay Taiaroa, Executive Director

PO Box 11-915
94 Dixon Street
Wellington 6034
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 3818500

Fax: +64(4) 3818501

WWW: http://www.nzvcc.ac.nz

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University

Services provided & students dealt with: The NZVCC plays a coordinating and policy-making role only. Individual applications must be sent to the universities of the student's choice.

Special provisions for recognition:

For the exercise of a profession: Access is restricted (e.g. doctor, engineer, lawyer, nurse, physiotherapist, surveyor, etc.). Registration and the right to practice in New Zealand is determined by the appropriate professional body under the relevant legislated Acts and Regulations. Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement between New Zealand and Australia, an individual registered to practice an occupation in one juridiction is able to obtain registration to practice an equivalent occupation in another juridiction.

Bilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign credentials

Name of agreement: Arrangement on Cooperation in the Field of Education

Year of signature: 2005

Country/state involved: Cook Islands

Name of agreement: Arrangement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education

Year of signature: 2003

Country/state involved: China

Name of agreement: Australia and New Zealand Mutual Recognition of Vocational Education and Training Qualifications

Year of signature: 1998

Country/state involved: Australia

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: http://nzqa.govt.nz/framework

Title: http://www.immigration.govt.nz

Title: http://www.kiwiquals.govt.nz

Title: http://www.newzealandeducated.com

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

Education N.Z. Trust

PO Box 10-500
Wellington 6036
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4720788

Fax: +64(4) 4712828

EMail: enquiry@educationnz.org.nz

WWW: http://www.educationnz.org.nz

Services available to foreign Students: Yes

National student associations and unions

Aotearoa Tertiary Student Association (ATSA)

PO Box 3332
Level 4, Quinovic House, 32-34 Kent Tce
Wellington
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 9391417

Fax: +64(4) 9391418

EMail: pres@atsa.org.nz; info@atsa.org.nz

WWW: http://www.atsa.org.nz

New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA)

PO Box 10-191
The Terrace, 354 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6036
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4982500

Fax: +64(4) 4732391

EMail: joey@students.org.nz

WWW: http://www.students.org.nz

Health/social provisions

Social security for home students: Yes

Foreign student social security provisions: Foreign students are required to have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance for the duration of their planned period of study. Information on publicly funded health and disability services is available on the Ministry of Health website, http://www.moh.govt.nz/eligibility. The Ministry of Education operates a Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students that sets out standards for the pastoral care, accomodation and provision of information by education providers and their agents to international students. All education providers that enroll international students must be signatories of the Code.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

By air: Yes

Available to foreign students: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Type of financial aid available:

Scholarships/grants/fellowships:

Higher vocational/technical studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: Yes

First Degree studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: Yes

Advanced/doctoral studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: Yes

Loans:

Higher vocational/technical studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: No

First degree studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: No

Advanced/doctoral studies:

Home: Yes

Foreign: No

Bodies providing information on student financial aid:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Private Bag 18-901
195 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6038
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4398000

Fax: +64(4) 4398511

EMail: enquiries@mfat.govt.nz

WWW: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/

Deals with: Grants

New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee

PO Box 11-915
94 Dixon Street (11th floor)
Wellington 6034
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 3818500

Fax: +64(4) 3818501

WWW: http://www.nzvcc.ac.nz

Deals with: Grants

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: Awards for Postgraduate Study at Commonwealth Universities

Publisher: Association of Commonwealth Universities

Title: Study Abroad 2005-2006

Author: UNESCO

Year of publication: 2005

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

Asia New Zealand Foundation

Head: John Austin, Executive Director

PO Box 10-144
Level 7
36, Customhouse Quay
Wellington
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4712320

Fax: +64(4) 4712330

EMail: asianz@asianz.org.nz

WWW: http://www.asianz.org.nz

Ministry of Education

PO Box 1666
45-47 Pipitea Street
Wellington 6015
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 4638000

Fax: +64(4) 4638001

WWW: http://www.minedu.govt.nz

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

PO Box 160
125 The Terrace
Wellington 6015
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 8023000

Fax: +64(4) 8023112

EMail: info@nzqa.govt.nz

WWW: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz

New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee

PO Box 11-975
94 Dixon Street
Wellington 6034
New Zealand

Tel: +64(4) 3818500

Fax: +64(4) 3818501

WWW: http://www.nzvcc.ac.nz

Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: Higher Education and Exchange Programme (HEEP)

Name of exchange programme: University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP)

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: Achievements Standards: NA Not Achieved, A Achieved, M Achieved with Merit, E Achieved with Excellence. Unit Standards have just NA and A.

Pass/fail level: The concept of pass/fail does not exist.

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: In general the higher education institutions use a scale of 9 passing grades: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and 2 failing grades: D, E.

Highest on scale: A+

Pass/fail level: C

Lowest on scale: E

Other main grading systems

National Qualifications Framework qualifications are based on outcomes and standards i.e. clear statements of what learners know and can do. The National Qualifications Framework has ten "levels" which indicate progressively more difficult and complex outcomes required of learners. Certificates are usually registered between Levels 1 to 7. Diplomas are usually registered at Levels 5 to 7. Bachelor's Degrees and Graduate Diplomas ar registered at level 7. Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates, and Bachelor's Degrees with Honours are registered at Level 8. Master's Degrees are registered at Level 9, and Doctorates at Level 10.

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

Data for academic year: 2005-2006

Source: IAU from The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, 2006

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