The New Zealand National College has stopped teaching four business courses after an investigation found assessment and moderation issues.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) found instances where business tutors at the college gave students the wrong marks Radio New Zealand reported that NZQA assessors disagreed with 80 percent of the grades they double-checked in two courses at the college in September last year.
NZQA’s deputy chief executive for quality assurance, Grant Klinkum, told RNZ they had “found poor quality assessment, examples of plagiarism and spin-botting,” the latter referring to the use of computer programmes that hide plagiarism. He also said the college had poor record-keeping and was not keeping to its schedule for assessment and moderation.
More than 300 international students affected by the course closures are being transferred to an alternative tertiary provider.
The students will be re-tested before they start at their new education provider to ensure their English is sufficient for their level of study and to check that they should keep the credits that the college had already awarded them.
New Zealand National College will be required to pay for the cost of any re-testing, English language testing or re-teaching.
“Having paid extortionate fees, students coming to New Zealand understandably want to pass their course and NZQA’s investigation suggests the New Zealand National College was happy to oblige. We are worried that the college was putting students’ education and future careers in peril just to ensure they had successful completion rates,” Sandra Grey, TEU national president, said.
The four course closures come just one week after NZQA cancelled the registration of another private institution, Linguis International. Three private providers have now lost their registration in the past 10 months.
“The litany of failures in for-profit education that hangs over National’s time in office shows that turning tertiary education into a market just does not work. Private companies are being subsidised to cut corners so they can maximise their profits instead of dedicating themselves to giving students the best possible education,” Grey said.