|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
A simpler, more user-friendly qualifications framework.
The establishment of a single, unified qualifications framework will make life a lot simpler for employers and for New Zealanders looking to enrol in tertiary study, says Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.
The New Zealand Qualifications Framework, which replaces the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), is the first step towards streamlining the qualifications system. It is the first change to flow from a review of qualifications carried out last year.
Mr Joyce says the new framework is one of most significant changes to New Zealand qualifications since the NQF was established in 1990.
\"The qualifications review was designed to cut back on the number of unused or duplicate qualifications and ensure they were more recognisable to potential students and employers.
\"There was concern that the number of qualifications made it difficult for learners to select courses and for employers to assess the quality of qualifications and tell if potential employees had the skills and knowledge they need.
\"These changes, and the others that will follow, will result in a much stronger, clearer system which everyone will find easier to understand,\" says Mr Joyce.
The introduction of the NZQF will immediately see the number of current qualifications drop by about 15% with the introduction of a new feature which assigns every qualification a status of current, expiring or discontinued.
All qualifications previously on the Register have transferred onto the NZQF which is now the single, definitive repository for nationally approved, quality-assured qualifications in New Zealand.
NZQA is currently consulting on the detail of other changes which will start being implemented from October. These include a predevelopment assessment stage for new qualifications, greater industry involvement in qualification development and an increased focus on outcomes, with qualifications being described in terms of what they deliver for graduates.
Mr Joyce says more standardised outcome statements which explain what graduates know, and can do, are very important.
\"This will also bring the structure of New Zealand qualifications into closer alignment with qualification frameworks in other countries, making it easier to compare qualifications across countries.
\"Tertiary education makes a vital contribution to New Zealand\'s economic, social and cultural success. We are seeking to improve the performance of the qualifications system to ensure it is flexible and responsive to student and industry needs.\"