Guidance on the provision of education courses to students outside New Zealand
This guidance enables State and State integrated schools to understand what they can and cannot do regarding the provision of education to students outside New Zealand.
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- Explanation of current regulatory framework
- What state schools can do for enrolled international students outside New Zealand once borders reopen
- What state schools can do for students outside New Zealand who are not enrolled
- What state schools cannot do regarding the provision of education to students outside NZ
Explanation of current regulatory framework
State and State integrated schools cannot provide education to students outside New Zealand
State and State integrated schools (State schools) are established to educate students enrolled with them and present in New Zealand. Providing education to students outside New Zealand is not one of the functions and powers of State schools as set out in the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act). Therefore, these schools generally cannot educate any student not in New Zealand. This includes foreign nationals and New Zealanders residing overseas. Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, provider of distance education, can however provide education to domestic New Zealand school students temporarily overseas, in line with its enrolment policy.
Providing NCEA to students outside New Zealand is prohibited
The provision of NCEA outside New Zealand is not permitted by the Act, except to domestic students through distance school enrolments and in places where the Government has an agreement, such as Pacific realm countries. NCEA was designed to be delivered in New Zealand alongside the National Curriculum and not as an international qualification. Widespread provision of New Zealand education and assessment to school students outside the country is difficult to quality assure and could create significant risks to the international reputation and credibility of New Zealand’s national qualifications.
Find more information on Education and Training Act 2020: Prohibiting the provision of NCEA offshore
Schools’ ability to apply for approval to temporarily provide education and NCEA to eligible students outside New Zealand as part of the COVID-19 response expires on 31 December 2022
As part of the Government’s COVID-19 response, State schools were able to apply to the Minister of Education for approval to temporarily provide education to their eligible enrolled students outside New Zealand. Registered schools (including private schools) were able to apply to NZQA for approval to temporarily provide assessment for NCEA to these students. Students are eligible if they were enrolled at the school on or before 3 July 2020. The temporary policy expires on 31 December 2022. This time-limited exception enables enrolled students to continue their New Zealand education where it has been disrupted by the impact of COVID-19 border closures.
What state schools can do for enrolled international students outside New Zealand once borders reopen
Once borders reopen for international students, from 31 July 2022, State schools can also provide the following support to international fee-paying students not yet arrived in New Zealand but who are enrolled at the school.
Orientation programmes for enrolled international students
Orientation programmes may be provided to enrolled international students before they depart to study in New Zealand. Preparing students early for living and studying in New Zealand helps ensure they are ready for the significant adjustments they will encounter. These programmes aim to help students understand and orient to life and school in New Zealand, laying the foundation for a quality New Zealand education experience. The cost should be included in the international students’ fees.
Academic preparation programmes for enrolled international students
Like the orientation programme described above, this involves a school offering enrolled international students a short academic preparation course to help ready them for study in New Zealand. It would not involve credits or exams. It would be purely preparatory learning. The cost should be included in the international students’ fees.
English language preparation
Like the programmes above, this would normally see the school provide an introductory English language preparation course to enrolled students not yet arrived in New Zealand. This is to provide early support to these students to help their English language proficiency, making the transition to New Zealand more seamless and setting up students for success. It would not involve credits or exams; it would be purely preparatory learning. The cost should be included in the international students’ fees.
What state schools can do for students outside New Zealand who are not enrolled
Schools may know of young people outside New Zealand interested in accessing New Zealand education. State schools cannot provide education programmes offshore unless they are approved to do so for their eligible enrolled students through the temporary COVID-19 policy above. Schools can, however, engage with students overseas in the following ways:
Provide marketing materials and information
Provide marketing materials and information about the school to potential international students and/or agents.
Reciprocal curriculum exchanges with students overseas and their teachers as part of the curriculum for the school’s enrolled students
This aligns with the International Education Strategy’s goal to develop global competencies.
These exchanges are only allowed if the primary intention is to provide learning opportunities for New Zealand students. They involve schools developing collaborative learning opportunities for their students with peers in other countries. For example, NZ teachers and students could make video presentations to teachers and students offshore as part of a unit on cultural festivals and traditions. Students in both countries may also connect as pen-pals.
If the curriculum focus is languages, NZ teachers may provide some English language teaching to the offshore class, and reciprocally the teacher in, for example China, may provide some Mandarin teaching to the NZ students. The key principle is that such activities are to support the learning objectives for the school’s enrolled students.
What state schools cannot do regarding the provision of education to students outside NZ
State and State integrated schools cannot provide courses that involve New Zealand teachers, or other school employees, creating resources for and/or teaching students outside the country not enrolled in their school. This prohibition applies whether the education provided is connected to the National Curriculum or is focussed on English language learning and NZ culture.
The following examples help illustrate what cannot be delivered by State and State integrated schools.
Delivery of a third-party programme
Schools sometimes arrange to deliver a programme developed by a third party. The school licences the programme for use and may overlay their brand and provide school-specific nuance. One example is the AFS Intercultural Programme’s Global Competence Certificate. These programmes would usually be charged for. Schools are not able to deliver such a programme to students outside New Zealand and not enrolled with the school.
Taster courses for potential international students
Schools have asked about providing ‘taster courses’ online to students overseas. These programmes would be promoted to prospective students as a way to experience the approach to education at the New Zealand school and to encourage them to enrol as fee-paying international students with the school. Schools are, however, not able to deliver such a programme to students outside New Zealand and not enrolled with the school.
Delivery through an independent business unit attached to a school
Schools are not able to deliver online learning through an independent business unit attached to the school. As Crown entities, State schools should not be running businesses.
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