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Things to Consider While Choosing The Course To Study In Newzealand

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What else should you consider when choosing a course?

Quality assurance is not a guarantee — what it does give you is the basic confidence in the quality of a course or qualification. You should also check out other factors, such as the points that follow.

  • Check whether the course attracts government loans or funding — to do so, the course needs NZQA approval and accreditation as well as Ministry of Education approval.
  • Is the qualification exactly what you want? The title of the qualification should reflect the content, but it might not be specific enough for your needs. For example, a textile design course might not be ideal if you want to learn how to create computer graphics for textile design.
  • Check the level of the qualification — the National Qualifications Framework has ten levels. Level 1 is entry level education and training, broadly comparable to Year 11 (Form Five) studies. Level 10 offers the most advanced learning.
  • Check with the likely employers of graduates. Is the course producing people who have the right skills for that industry?
  • Talk to former students. Did they enjoy the course? Did they get what they expected? Are their new skills valuable personally or marketable in the workplace? Did they get value for money?
  • Visit the provider’s education facilities. See if they are adequate and the staff helpful. It’s crucial to get a “feel” for the place and its staff – does it feel right?
  • Check the course against any comparable course at your local provider.

When you enrol, make sure that you get full details such as dates, costs, refunds if you need to withdraw, information about resources, student support services and complaints procedures. Registered and accredited private providers are required to have all of these provisions, even if they are small operators.

What sort of protection do you have as a student?

PTEs must have adequate protection of student fees in the event of a their:

  • insolvency
  • de-registration by NZQA
  • partial or complete loss of accreditation.

This means that if a course stops before its scheduled completion, you may get your fees reimbursed or be offered re-enrolment in a suitable alternative course to complete the qualification or Framework credits.

This does not apply to Training Opportunity courses, Youth Training and Skill Enhancement courses, or off-job training co-purchased by industry training organisations.

However, if you simply choose the wrong course, you may find that when you withdraw you won’t be able to get your money back.

More information on student fee protection

What if you have a complaint?

When you are on a course, remember that you are a consumer. You should be able to discuss the course with staff and complain formally if you feel the need.

If you have a complaint regarding a NZQA registered and/or approved and accredited provider, raise the matter with the management of the provider. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily, you may make an official complaint to NZQA.

NZQA needs complaints to be in writing and stated as specifically as possible — that is, what the problem is and what you have already done to obtain resolution. It is also very helpful if you provide copies of relevant documents.

NZQA will investigate and advise you and the provider of the outcome of the complaint.

For advice about lodging complaints, telephone 0800 QA HELP (0800 72 4357).

More information on complaints

Further information

You can find further information on moderation, examinations, quality assurance, qualifications evaluations, Records of Learning, National Certificates, National Diplomas and the National Qualifications Framework on this website.

Quality Of Education In New Zealand

Choosing A Course to Study In Newzealand

New Zealand Qualifications for international students


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