The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016

Educational institutions hosting international students in New Zealand are both ethically and legally responsible to provide them all the essential information along with making sure that they are safe and properly cared for. Government of New Zealand enforces all educational institutions to sign and agree to “the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016”. This code comes with some changes and to the existing 2010 Code of Practice.

The aim of these changes is to guarantee that educational institutes provide necessary information to all the international students so that they can take informed decisions about their careers. Government of New Zealand has recently released “the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice” in March 2016, which applies from July 1st 2016.

This code essentially outlines the minimum criteria or sets standards that all the education providers or their agents welcoming foreign students must abide by. However, it does not cover any issues related with academic standards.

Students can ask for a copy of the code from the institution that they are studying in or wish to study in or they can download a copy of the new code from New Zealand Legislation website.

Guidelines in the code different for different types of education providers:

• Guidelines for the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016” – Schools (PDF, 512KB)
• Guidelines for “the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016” –Tertiary (PDF, 586KB)

Education providers have to become signatories of the code in order to enrol students coming from different countries. If any of the institution is not a signatory, it cannot enrol international students. A “list of all education providers that are approved signatories” is available on New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) website. Since current code is in transition phase, therefore, for students who were enrolled before 1 July 2016, previous code of practice will stay effective until 31 December 2016. Students enrolled from or after 1 January 2017 will be covered by the new code.

In instances where international students are not happy with their hosting educational institution, they can launch a complaint. Initially, they should follow the internal procedures to file a complaint. They can contact New Zealand Qualification authority if they feel that the institution’s dispute resolution system is not efficient enough to satisfy them. In case of any contractual or financial dispute, they can contact Fairway Resolutions and launch a complaint against the institution they are enrolled with. A formal way to complaint against an educational provider is described here in detail.