New code of practice for the pastoral care of tertiary and international learners

Today, the Government released a new code of practice for the pastoral care of tertiary and international learners, to take effect by 1 January 2022, as required under the Education and Training Act 2020. 

This revised Code is the product of many conversations, engagements, emails, phone calls, and hui. We are thankful to everyone that has spent time to help improve the wellbeing and safety of tertiary and international ākonga. 

The overall purpose of this work is to develop a system of supports for the wellbeing and safety of domestic tertiary and international learners, through one set of clear rules and expectations for providers that can be tailored to their learners’ needs. 

Find summaries of the key changes and links to the new code and Ministerial Press release below  

Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 – Education in New Zealand(external link)

New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing in tertiary education – link)

Summary of key changes

What does the new Code mean for tertiary providers?

Tertiary providers will need to consider how their overall systems and resources support learners’ wellbeing and safety.

It will be important for providers to build and maintain strong relationships with learners and other interested stakeholders to identify and define the issues that are important for their communities and develop appropriate strategic goals, plans and practices around them.  

Providers are expected to:

  • build capacity across their organisation to engage and empower learners to manage their own wellbeing
  • proactively identify and respond to learners who may face additional challenges as early as possible and tailor extra support to meet their needs.
  • respond effectively in an emergency. 

The new Code continues to focus on outcomes and flexible practices that enable providers to support their learners in ways that best meet their needs.

What does the new Code mean for tertiary and international ākonga? 

The Code will make providers more accountable to learners, their families and community. The new Code expects tertiary providers to consult with learners, and other stakeholders when developing, reviewing, and improving their strategic goals, plans and practices. It also expects providers to be transparent about their wellbeing structures, strategies, practices and performances.

What’s changed for international ākonga? 

The new Code covers domestic and international tertiary students and international students in schools. The goal is to ensure consistency within tertiary providers rather than having separate Codes for international and domestic learners in the same provider. The new Code continues to spell out the expectations that apply now for providers regarding the specific needs of international learners. There are no changes to requirements for schools, in New Zealand, who host international students.

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