Further changes to NCEA and University Entrance address COVID-19 impact

Further changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) requirements will be made for this school year to support students in light of the disruption of COVID-19.

Note: This update has been translated into te reo Māori and Pacific languages.

The following changes will help ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the disruption whilst maintaining the integrity and credibility of NCEA:

  • Students working towards an NCEA can gain additional credits, based on the number of credits they achieve during the 2020 school year. For every 5 credits a student attains towards their NCEA either through internal or external assessment, they can be awarded 1 additional credit. Students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to a maximum of 10 additional credits while those at Levels 2 and 3 are eligible for up to a maximum of 8 additional credits.
  • Students will be awarded a certificate endorsement if they achieve 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, rather than the usual 50. Students achieving 12 credits at Merit or Excellence level in a course – rather than 14 – will be awarded a course endorsement.
  • Current UE requirements have been reduced from 14 credits to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects. Students still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded University Entrance.

Approved subjects – NZQA(external link)

In addition, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has asked the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to consider ways to support schools to recognise the learning and skills gained by students outside their formal programme of learning during Alert Levels 4 and 3.

The Ministry and NZQA said the changes were designed to encourage students to continue working towards their NCEA and ensure that the NCEA attained this school year is just as valid as those earned in previous years.

The changes are in addition to the first tranche of changes announced on 13 March 2020, and have been endorsed by the Minister’s NCEA Professional Advisory Group:

Read: Changes to NCEA address impact of COVID-19 – 13 March 2020(external link)

Hon Chris Hipkins: Temporary changes to NCEA and university entrance – Beehive(external link)

Translations of this information

Māori [DOCX, 14 KB]
Cook Islands [DOCX, 15 KB]
Vagahau Niue [DOCX, 16 KB]
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Samoa [DOCX, 16 KB]
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Tonga [DOCX, 17 KB]
Tuvalu [DOCX, 15 KB]

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