Dozens of international students, including Indians, protested outside the headquarters of Immigration New Zealand in Auckland on Aug. 9 after their results were withheld. The students have been seeking redressal since their institutes came under the radar of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) over concerns about its assessment process.
Some of the students of Tasman International Academies, who gathered to protest in Auckland, are facing the situation for the second time. They were stuck in the same situation earlier this year, when the NZQA shut down the New Zealand National College (NZNC), citing its poor services and malpractices related to assessments.
The Indian Workers Association, which organized the protest, said that the college has invited the students for a meeting.
Details of the protest were shared by the Indian Workers Association (IWA), the organizer of the event, on its Facebook page.
“NZQA needs to make these checks before terms start – it needs to freeze enrollments, not results… New Zealand prides itself on its education but education for international students in New Zealand is chaotic. Right now it appears preference is given to profits over quality education,” Mandeep Bela, the coordinator of the IWA and the Union Network of Migrants, was quoted as saying by Newshub.co.nz.
“The students have already paid twice and studied twice for the same course. Not only are they paying for a service or qualification that they are then not receiving, but they don’t receive a refund and they have to throw away years of study to start again at square one with a new education provider, it’s ridiculous!,” he told stuff.co.nz.
Describing the ordeal of students, the IWA had earlier posted on Facebook: “Most of these students were studying Diploma in Business level 6 at NZNC last year. Last year NZNC was shut down by NZQA due to serious concerns about NZNC’s assessment practices. These students then contacted NZQA to ask about Tasman college. NZQA informed these students that it is a suitable college for them. Now this year, on their last day of study, Tasman college informed these students that their results can’t be released again not because of students’ fault but because of NZQA having concerns about college’s assessment practices.”
The NZQA had issued a notice citing concerns about the college’s assessment in relation to the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Leadership and Management) Level 5, and the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Leadership and Management) Level 6.
The students were told that the academy received a compliance notice and that their qualifications would be held back, according to tvnz.co.nz. They were informed about the development after most of them had nearly completed their Level 6 diploma in business.
The NZQA also recently issued a communiqué on its website over the issue.
“The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) issued a compliance notice on these two programs to stop further enrollments, the release of assessment results or awarding qualifications due to significant concerns with assessment capability. Our regular program monitoring identified these issues,” the NZQA statement said.
The issue had also sparked protests earlier this year.
“I really feel for these people, they are in a very difficult situation, it’s not their fault and I think the immigration system and education system need to respond to them,” Immigration Minister Iain-Lees Galloway had earlier said to 1 News.
The New Zealand government has also announced changes in its immigration policy for foreign students, making it harder for them to take up work in the country after they finish studies. Under the new rules, which will come into effect from Nov. 26, 2018, the employer assisted post-study visas will be removed at all levels, the government announced on Aug. 8.