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About New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand, Aotearoa, is situated in the South Pacific.

Most people live around New Zealand's coastline and in the north. The capital is Wellington and the largest city is Auckland. We are a stable parliamentary democracy and a member of the Commonwealth.

New Zealand has a shorter human history than any other. The precise date of settlement is a matter of debate, but current understanding is that it was discovered by the ancestors of Māori – the tangata whenua, the indigenous people of New Zealand – probably in the 13th century.

Following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and the chiefs of New Zealand, large-scale European settlement occurred from the 1840s onwards. Subsequent social, political and economic changes have moved New Zealand from a colonial outpost to a multicultural Pacific nation.

New Zealand education is increasingly international in character, driven by information technology, trade, employment markets extending beyond national borders, and a well-travelled population of students, teaching staff and researchers.

Education is a critical factor in developing the skills and innovation required for New Zealand to compete globally, and it plays a significant role in New Zealand's relationships internationally.

Education in New Zealand
New Zealand's education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.

Education in New Zealand is student-centred. It is focused on supporting students to problem-solve, process information, work with others, create and innovate. Each student is able to develop their potential along a number of possible pathways, academic and/or vocational.

All aspects of education in New Zealand have undergone transformation in the past two decades, including the areas of governance, curriculum, assessment, qualifications, and teaching and learning. As a result, a range of new ideas and methods have been adopted, based on evidence and research.

New Zealand has educational agencies, providers, managers and teachers with a good and growing understanding of what works and why, and a commitment to using that understanding to lift the achievement levels of all students – especially those groups who have lower achievement rates.

New Zealand has strong international education connections and recognition. There is considerable international interest in New Zealand's achievements in education – It's educators' expertise and experience, and education services and products, are sought after around the world.
International Comparisons
New Zealand Education at a Glance 2013
Education at a Glance which compares education in 34 OECD and eight other countries, reports that New Zealand is:
New Zealand and PISA
University Rankings
Education System
New Zealand’s education system has three levels – early childhood education, secondary schooling, and tertiary education – across which students can follow a variety of flexible pathways.

New Zealand's system is designed to recognise different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels, ideas about teaching and learning, and allows education providers to develop their own special characters.

National policies and frameworks for regulation and guidance, requirements and funding arrangements are set by central government and administered through its agencies. Administrative authority for most education service provision is devolved to education institutions, which are governed by individual Boards or Councils.

New Zealand has strong quality assurance systems which ensure consistent, high quality education across all levels of the education system, both public and private.
Tertiary Education
Tertiary education includes all post-secondary education including higher and vocational education. It is the third level of education and is delivered by both state and privately owned institutions.

Tertiary education institutions offer courses which range from transition (school to work) programmes, through to postgraduate study and research. There are no fixed divisions between the types of courses offered by providers. The focus is on their ability to offer education to the required quality standards, rather than based on their type.

The academic year for most tertiary institutions starts in February and finishes in November. It is most often divided into two semesters but a third, ‘summer’, semester is becoming increasingly popular.

Government partly funds state tertiary institutions. Students need to contribute about 30 per cent of the cost of their courses. New Zealand students can borrow a student loan from the government to pay for their courses until they are earning.

The Government states its priorities for tertiary education in its Tertiary Education Strategy. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funds tertiary providers based on agreed enrolments and contestable grants. The emphasis is on working in partnership to develop investment plans focused on educational outcomes and how they can be achieved. Agreed investment plans are then funded accordingly and the TEC monitors providers against the stated outcomes. Investment plans take into account student demand, labour market conditions, advice from employers about skills they need, and government policies and priorities.
University Education
New Zealand has eight public state-funded universities. All are well-recognised internationally, have strong international connections and collaborate with universities in other countries on a range of research and teaching programmes.

New Zealand’s university quality assurance system ensures that the standards of both teaching and research are high and consistent across all the universities.

All New Zealand’s universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduate, masters and Doctoral (PhD) degrees in commerce, science and the humanities. A number of universities have more than one campus, are often located in different cities, and many have overseas programmes, usually in partnership with an offshore provider, as a base for delivery of courses. A range of programmes are also delivered online.

A performance-based funding system encourages and rewards research that is of the highest quality and relevant to contemporary needs. Universities also work closely with the business community in New Zealand and overseas, to involve students in leading-edge research and development.

New Zealand has a number of government-funded Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE), which are primarily, but not exclusively inter-institutional research networks, with researchers working on a commonly agreed work programme. Each CoRE is hosted by a university and comprises a number of partner organisations including other universities, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) and Wānanga (focused on Māori tradition and custom).

Most university staff combine research and teaching. They come from all over the world and keep their international connections using sabbatical and other provisions for ensuring regular engagement with the global academic community.

Faculties of Education within universities are closely involved with the wider education system in New Zealand and internationally, and carry out the majority of research underpinning policies and practice in New Zealand schools and early childhood centres. Most of teacher education for schools is carried out in the universities.

Features of New Zealand’s universities:
Entry to university
Students who want to study at a New Zealand university need to meet a University Entrance (UE) standard. They need to achieve minimum standards at various levels of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) or the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

Equivalent international qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge examinations are also accepted for UE.

International students must fulfil minimum English language requirements for enrolment at tertiary institutions.
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP)
There are 18 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) in New Zealand. They provide professional and vocational education and training on a wide range of subjects from introductory studies through to full degree programmes.

Programmes are at all levels: community interest courses, English language training, foundation programmes, certificates, diplomas, degrees and some postgraduate qualifications. The most common qualifications ITPs award are certificates and diplomas encouraging students to build from lower qualifications to higher ones.

Courses emphasise practical experience and application to work situations such as studios, workshops, laboratories, hospitals and other workplaces.
Care for International Students
New Zealand has a national Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code). The Code advises education providers on the standards of care they must provide to international students living and studying in New Zealand. All education providers which enrol international students must be signatories to the Code, and their compliance is closely monitored by the Government.
Quality Assurance Agencies
New Zealand has government agencies responsible for various aspects of quality assurance covering all areas of the education system.
Teaching and Teaching Quality
New Zealand recognises that the most important factor in improving educational outcomes for every student is effective teaching. Initial teacher education in New Zealand takes into consideration diverse student population and aims to support effective ways to improve educational outcomes for specific groups including Māori and Pasifika, students with special needs, and those with behavioural issues.

Most initial teacher education (ITE) for the schooling sector in New Zealand takes place in the Colleges and Faculties of Education within universities. Around half of the Early Childhood Teacher ITE is also delivered by Institutes of Technology, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments. Initial teacher education qualifications are approved and quality-assured by the New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC).

The New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC) maintains the professional standards of teachers. It registers teachers, renews their practising certificates, defines standards, and jointly approves teacher education programmes that lead to registration. It has the power to investigate complaints and act upon them.

Every school teacher, and all qualified teachers in early childhood services, must be registered with the NZTC. The only teachers in tertiary education who require compulsory registration are those who supervise teaching practice in initial teacher education.

The NZTC ensures a minimum quality standard is applied to all teachers. The NZTC considers a teacher’s character, qualifications, police record and experience.

The term ‘registered teacher’ is protected by law. It is illegal for a person without registration to use these words to indicate that he or she is a registered teacher.

Ongoing quality assurance in all teaching is managed with: All providers operate in an environment of decentralised governance and management. To ensure the most effective use of its funding, government encourages sector cooperation.
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