29 Jun 2014

NZQA takes five years to act

9:07 am on 29 June 2014

The Qualifications Authority took more than five years to shut down programmes at an under-performing private tertiary education provider.

That is despite the provider consistently failing to mark its business papers fairly.

In May, the authority removed accreditation from two business courses run by Auckland's Regent International Education Group.

However, documents released to Radio New Zealand show Regent's assessment moderation was under scrutiny as early as 2008.

The provider did nothing to ensure the marks it gave its students matched the marks from external moderators.

Fair exam moderation practices are considered critical to prevent schools from awarding qualifications to students who do not deserve them.

Chief executive of another tertiary provider, Whitireia Polytechnic's Don Campbell said NZQA needs to act far more quickly.

He said a year should be plenty for the authority to gather evidence and take action.

Mr Campbell said that delays damage the country's reputation in lucrative education markets like China and India.

NZQA defends the time it took to shut programmes

The Qualifications Authority is defending taking more than five years to shut the programmes down.

The authority says it took so long because there is no short-term fix when concerns are raised about a provider's moderation.

It says it has an obligation to give an organisation time to improve, if student learning is not at risk.

NZQA chief executive Karen Poutasi said the concerns were about moderation requirements and not with the quality of courses.