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Student satisfaction for International Educators

‘Outstanding student satisfaction achievement for New Zealand’s International Educators’

Education New Zealand: Media Release 06/10/2008

‘Ongoing efforts by New Zealand’s educators to provide excellent education and student support continue to pay off’ says Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand. ‘The number and nature of complaints to the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA) confirms that for 99.92% of international students, what they sought is what they got’.

‘New Zealand has arguably the world’s most stringent legislative requirements around the care of international students’ says Robert Stevens. ‘The IEAA is an independent body that can examine any case where the student doesn’t feel that they have had the outcome they wanted from the educational institution. As such, it provides an important further protection for students. It is an extra step that most of our rivals fail to provide’.

‘It is important to appreciate that most of the cases taken to the IEAA relate to quite technical provisions of the Code of practice, and have nothing to do with student safety or other critical areas’ notes Robert Stevens. ‘Case studies [1] such as the one relating to a parent’s concern about the haircut their child was required to have to comply with school rules are fascinating in relation to the provision of information prior to enrolment, but are not evidence of deep seated concerns about our overall education environment for international students.’

‘We have always studied carefully issues relating to Code compliance, but in just about every instance, compliance issues relate to technical detail rather than fundamental problems that will adversely affect students.’

‘New Zealand has an outstanding record when it comes to looking after international students’ says Robert Stevens. ‘Our institutions are world leaders, and our systems and processes provide student protection without equal. A complaint rate of 0.08% (of which only about a quarter will be found to require further action) is just outstanding for any service industry and I am confident that we would be seen to be world leaders if other countries actually had these sorts of systems and reports to compare (which all too often they don’t).

The findings of the IEAA are a testament to our quality – basically, ‘it ain’t broke’ and students can be confident that if they think it is they can seek independent redress.’


[1] The IEAA Annual Report is done on a calendar year basis. The last full year public report (which allows analysis of the complaints) is for 2007. Financial year figures are an interim update and do not include full annual report analysis.

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