Regulations to better support international students
The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 will be replaced by the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 on 1 January 2022.
- Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016
- 2019 Amendments to the Code of Practice
- Information about the 2019 amendments to the Code of Practice
- The International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS)
- Making a complaint
- Funding for administering the Code and DRS
- The Ministry's role
- Further information
The new code will provide for the pastoral care of both domestic tertiary and international learners in New Zealand. More information can be found here on our website.
The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 was previously released alongside the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) on 1 July 2016. The DRS will remain active.
Education providers wishing to enrol international students must become signatories to the Code of Practice.
Under the Code of Practice:
- signatories are required to achieve 10 outcomes, following prescribed processes.
- As the Code Administrator, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), has the power to take action against signatories who are found to be in breach of the code.
NZQA provides support to signatories(external link) to ensure they meet the required outcomes and processes as outlined in the Code of Practice.
From 1 January 2022, signatories will be required to comply with the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. The new Code will replace the existing Interim Code of Practice for domestic tertiary learners, and the Code of Practice for international learners. More information can be found on our website.
Amendments to the 2016 Code of Practice were published in March 2019, with changes coming into effect on 1 July 2019.
Most of the changes are minor adjustments to make the Code clearer and more consistent. More significant changes include:
- new contract and disciplinary protections
- clarifying requirements for caregiver safety checks
- more detailed requirements for managing and monitoring education agents
- more practical transfer of care requirements for students under 18
Other changes cover definitions and process requirements for caregivers, accommodation, insurance, orientation and student support.
The DRS provides a free, faster and more effective process for students to resolve contractual and financial disputes with education providers.
FairWay Resolution Limited administers the DRS.
Further information about the DRS is available on the New Zealand Government's Legislation website.
Students (or their advocates) need to contact NZQA first when they have any concerns or complaints about an education provider.
If the complaint is contractual or financial, NZQA will direct the complainant to FairWay Resolutions Limited for the complaint to be resolved under the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS).
The DRS is a free service for students. Students may choose to use the DRS or take the case to a tribunal or court, which will charge a fee to users and may take longer.
NZQA can also assist with education quality concerns about institutes of technology, polytechnics and private training establishments, but will refer other concerns to other relevant agencies.
Funding comes from the Export Education Levy collected from all education providers enrolling international students.
The Ministry's role is to lead policy advice on international education, including the:
- Code of Practice and DRS rules
- Export Education Levy regulation, and
- International Education Strategy
We administer the Export Education Levy which is funded by providers for a wide range of initiatives for export education, including funding the administration of the Code of Practice and the operation of the DRS.
We also provide approval for exchange programme organisations and school-to-school and tertiary provider exchange programmes.
For further information email:
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