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Code of Practice


When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, it is important that those students are well-informed, safe, and properly cared for. New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students' welfare.

This information provides an overview of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code), and provides a procedure that students can follow if they have concerns about their treatment by a New Zealand educational provider or agent of a provider.

What is the Code?

The Code is a document that provides a framework for service delivery by educational providers and their agents to international students. The Code sets out the minimum standards of advice and care that are expected of educational providers with respect to international students. The Code applies to pastoral care and provision of information only, not to academic standards.

Who does the Code apply to?

The Code applies to all education providers in New Zealand with international students enrolled. The Code is mandatory to these providers and must be signed by them.

Who is an "international student"?

An "international student" is a foreign student studying in New Zealand.

How do I know if an education provider is a signatory to the Code?

The NZQA maintains a register of all signatories to the Code. This is available online from the NZQA. If the education provider that you are seeking to enrol with is not a signatory to the Code, you will not be granted a permit from the New Zealand Immigration Service and you will not be able to study at that institution.

What do I do if something goes wrong?

If you have concerns about your treatment by your education provider or by an agent of the provider, the first thing you must do is contact the Elite Campus Manager, or another person who has been identified to you as someone that you can approach about complaints at your college.

The Code requires all institutions to have fair and equitable internal grievance procedures for students and you need to go through these internal processes before you can take the complaint any further. If your concerns are not resolved by the internal grievance procedures, you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

The Code sets standards for education providers to ensure that:

  • High professional standards are maintained.
  • The recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner.
  • Information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date.
  • Students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments.
  • Contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner.
  • The particular needs of international students are recognised.
  • International students are in safe accommodation.
  • All providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances.

How can I get a copy of the Code?

You can request a copy of the Code from your New Zealand education provider. The Code is also available online from NZQA.