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‘Excellent Progress on China List’

‘Excellent Progress on China List’.

‘The jointly convened Education New Zealand (ENZ) /New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) industry meeting to discuss the proposed ‘China list’ made excellent progress in developing a process which will provide the Chinese Government with a robust list of New Zealand institutions that they can confidently recommend to their prospective students’ said Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of ENZ.

Led by ENZ Chairman David Caygill, the meeting brought together 24 stakeholder group representatives representing the sectors potentially affected by the Chinese request, together with key Government agencies. The meeting first had a briefing on the Chinese requirements from Rob Stevens (CEO of ENZ) and Karen van Rooyen (CEO of NZQA) both of whom had been part of the Ministerial delegation that met with Chinese Government ministers and officials in China during September. Following this briefing, representatives discussed how the Chinese request should be interpreted, and what criteria might satisfy them. The meeting was unanimous that the Chinese request should be taken very seriously and acted upon as quickly as possible.

‘Representatives agreed that a transparent qualitative process was the only viable option for New Zealand to pursue’ said Robert Stevens. ‘Broad agreement was reached on the concept of developing a classification system for institutions so that prospective students would have more information on the outcomes and pathways they could expect. More rigorous standards and enforcement were called for, along with more frequent auditing procedures and robust spot checks of all institutions to monitor compliance’.

‘The current quality provisions were given a ‘thumbs up’ by the meeting. Representatives felt that any issues around the current regime were more related to enforcement and development, rather than the basic provisions of the regulatory framework that the industry currently operates under’ Robert Stevens said.

Following today’s meeting a draft list of criteria will be drawn up and developed with industry input via the representatives who were present at the meeting. When finalised, the new plan will be submitted to the Chinese Government. Institutions who meet the criteria will be included in the list provided, and for those institutions who do not currently fit the criteria a clear path of compliance will be set out. It is anticipated that the draft criteria will be available in the next two weeks.

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