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Secondary Scholarship Programme

New Zealand is to have a national secondary school scholarship examination from 2004, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

It will be the first separate state-run secondary national scholarship for 12 years.

“There will be a single standard established for each subject, known as a scholarship standard. It will lead to a premiere secondary qualification called the New Zealand Scholarship, which will be registered at level four (one level higher than bursary) on the NZ Register which registers all quality assured qualifications in New Zealand.

“There will be awards for top all-round scholars, with recognition of superb performance across five subjects.

“What this means is that we will now have a challenging external assessment process for our top academic students.

The Minister also announced the university entrance requirements through the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

“Next year, Year 11 students will start studying under the NCEA system. These announcements show how that system will cater for the transition from school to university once those students reach their final year at secondary school.

“The requirements for entry to university have been developed closely with the universities. From 2004, university entrance will require 42 NCEA level 3 credits. There will also be literacy and numeracy requirements.

“I believe that the NCEA is a good lead up to tertiary study, especially university study. Its mixture of internal assessment throughout the year and external assessment is more in line with tertiary education practises and encourages secondary school students into good study and work habits,” Trevor Mallard said.


Ends

Questions and Answers on Secondary School Scholarship

Who is this scholarship examination for?

This examination is for the highest achieving students in their last year in our secondary school system. It will extend them and recognise truly excellent performance.

What will the exams be like?

They will be genuinely challenging and demanding assessments that will test our most able students. Students will be expected to demonstrate breadth and depth of understanding in response to open-ended questions to reach original or sophisticated solutions or performance.

How will students be assessed?

All assessment will be external, either by a written examination or submission of a portfolio to external assessors.

What about the student in the small country school?

These scholarship exams will be accessible for all able students in every school throughout New Zealand. They will not contain new content but will test high level skills of evaluation, analysis and integration.


Will students be able to use scholarship to get into university?

Yes. NZQA will establish the details for managing this with universities and NZVCC.

Why have we got this exam?

The government believes it is very important to recognise excellence in the education sector as we do in the sporting sector. It is important that this be a national exam, run by government, available to all our most talented students.

Will there be awards?

Yes. There will be recognition of top all-round scholars (5 subjects), top subject scholars, New Zealand scholars (across three subjects), top Maori and top Pasifika scholars.

Is this a qualification or just an exam?

It is a qualification that will be called the New Zealand Scholarship. It will be registered on the Register of New Zealand Qualifications and require performance at scholarship level in three subjects, worth 72 credits.

When will this happen?

The end of 2004.

How will students know what the exam will be like?

There will be a scholarship standard written for each subject describing the high level critical thinking, depth of understanding and other expectations of the scholarship student. NZQA will publish sample exams for each subject.

Who was involved in this development?

The Ministry of Education has worked closely with the Qualifications Authority, NZPPTA, the NZ Education Scholarship Trust, universities and other tertiary providers and secondary school teachers.

Who will run these exams?

NZQA will manage the examination. They will contract experienced examination writers and markers in each subject area.


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