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Auckland Institute of Studies maintains its top ranking

Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) believes that delivering first-class education should be the number one priority of every New Zealand institution. That belief has paid off, with AIS again being recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as a Category 1 provider.

The just released NZQA External Evaluation and Review (EER) of programmes, facilities, staff, students and involvement with its key stakeholders, assessed the institution as: ‘Highly Confident’ in educational performance and ‘Highly Confident’ in self-assessment. The EER process helps ensure that New Zealand providers deliver on their promises of providing high-quality education.

The previous (2014) review, saw AIS included in the small group of Category 1 providers – but with a rating of ‘Confident’ in self-assessment. “That rating drove the AIS team to really focus on how we self-assess our operations. We looked very critically at AIS as a student destination and how we can better equip students with real-world skills” said Dr Julia Hennessy, President and Director of Research.

That dedication to ongoing improvement is recognised in the EER report, which noted that better data collection and analysis has led AIS to improve its evaluative practices, and greater transparency now exists, with self-assessment results being shared with all staff. Dr Hennessy added that: “The EER incentivises us to continually reflect on our performance and make changes that benefit students, staff and other stakeholders.” She concluded: “The entire AIS team are delighted with the outcome. The EER results are a key factor in students’ choice of an institution and the importance of maintaining our Category 1 rating should not be underestimated.”

Highlights of the report included:
• Strong management and governance
• Clear strategic direction - well understood across the organisation
• Good resources and support systems for students, staff and graduates entering the workforce
• Good liaison with industry and effective advisory boards providing strategic and academic direction
• Well-developed systems to support research
• Robust internal review systems that also inform future programme development
• Greater flexibility in approaches to teaching and learning
• Consistently good course completion rates - averaging 92%

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