1 August 2018

Changes to English language testing

Last week, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) announced changes to its Rules, including English language proficiency.

NZQA has published the result of its consultation on proposed changes to its Rules, including the removal of Rule 18.6. Institutions will no longer be able to provide internal English language proficiency assessments.

The change aims to ensure prospective students at TEOs have evidence of English language proficiency for enrolment. They must use one of the eight globally recognised international tests specified in Rule 18, such as IELTS and the Pearson Test of English.

This is one of nine changes that will come into effect on 22 August 2018. A transition period for institutions that currently provide such assessments is allowed until 31 December 2018, if an exemption notice is applied for.

As a result of the consultation feedback, NZQA and ENZ also identified an opportunity for New Zealand to develop its own standardised English language proficiency test.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says ENZ is now exploring how such a test could work.

“We are having preliminary discussions to explore the feasibility of the industry developing a New Zealand-based language test which providers could choose to use.”

For more information on the NZQA Rule changes please click here.

Education providers should review their policies against the new Rules relevant to them, to ensure compliance for when they come into effect.

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