18 Nov 2010

Govt tightens rules on private schools

8:48 pm on 18 November 2010

The Government is cracking down on fraud and questionable practices among private schools that teach international students.

Some of the 234 private schools that enrol foreign students have long faced accusations that they are effectively selling qualifications, such as business diplomas.

But Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says such allegations have been hard to prove.

Now the Government is giving the Qualifications Authority the power to enter their premises and broadening its ability to cancel their registration.

It is also increasing the proportion of students' fees a school can keep if a student moves to another institution.

Radio New Zealand's correspondent says the change is aimed at students who are offered financial incentives by agents to switch.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says there are undoubtedly educaton providers that are close to being scams.

The changes, he says, will make it easier for the authority to weed out less scrupulous providers.