15 October 2015 at 9:00 am

NZ admissions staff key to sustainable industry

The sustainability of our international education industry relies heavily on attracting high-quality students.

There are relatively small numbers of people working in the area of international qualifications in New Zealand, so training and the sharing of knowledge is vital.

To support this need for professional development, AUT and ENZ jointly hosted UK NARIC to run training sessions on 17 and 18 September for New Zealand admissions staff. The workshop also provided a valuable opportunity for admissions staff from around the country to share their knowledge and expertise.   

UK NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide.

The sessions were well attended and well received. Here’s some of the feedback, grouped under each of the four training session topics.  

Evaluating International Qualifications.

This session provided some guidance in the all-important area of qualification evaluation.
  • This session helped me to understand different models of education and evaluation process of international qualifications. Among the four traditional education models of: Anglo- Scottish, American, Humboldt and Napoleonic. The first two models are quite straight forward, unlike the last two!

  • Exercises in identifying which model to apply where, gave us better understanding of the entry requirements, duration, progression route and qualification comparison the various qualifications.

  • I now have a greater understanding on what to request and look for while checking and accepting documents.

Degrees of Deception.

This session looked at the worldwide problem of applicants presenting fraudulent documents to ensure a place in a learning institute.
  • The overview, general and brief as it was, gave me a starting point as to the kinds of alterations to look for when presented with a document for assessing.

  • A major part of an admissions staffer’s daily workload includes deciphering international documents and recognising the difference between acceptable and fraudulent qualifications. The NARIC training course has made me think twice and question things I may have otherwise not thought about.

Education in China.

This session gave an overview of the structure of the education systems in China.
  • As well as gaining a general understanding of the Chinese education system in different provinces, I found the session on numbers and dates in Chinese characters particularly helpful, as it helped me get a precise understanding of the course duration, start date and completion date in order to verify authenticity of the translation. Also, the exercise we did identifying Chinese characters to confirm the school and entry to higher education will help me to understand Chinese certificates more easily.

  • The other interesting exercise was identifying the authenticity of the certificate by looking at its serial number. After this session I am clear about how to read the transcript and the completion certificate.

Education in North America.

This session gave an overview of the structure of the education systems in North America.

My top three takeaways from this session were:
  • There is no national qualifications framework in Canada, thus there is a lot of variation in education between the provinces.

  • There is also no national accrediting body in Canada to evaluate the quality of all degree programmes, although a number of regulatory authorities perform this function for programmes in professional subjects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • Many countries in the Caribbean have very few nationally accredited higher education institutions, so links with international universities to offer recognised qualifications are common

Ways in which the training will change or improve the way I work:
  • More knowledge of the education systems in North America will make it easier and more efficient to assess applicants from this area, as less time will be spent looking up information.

A particular challenge in my job that is now made easier since having the training:
  • The training provided specific information on the difference between vocational and academic Associate Degrees from the United States. This was useful as we only accept Academic Associate Degrees for University Entrance and it was previously not always easy to identify if the qualification was academic or vocational.

What's in it for me?