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Students do not always get access to clear, quality pathways, or the information to be able to make good decisions about their future.

What we’ve heard

Students do not always get access to clear, quality pathways, or the information to be able to make good decisions about their future. As a result, students often end up taking subject which do not set them up with a deliberate pathway to their next step, preventing them transitioning successfully to further education and employment and making it difficult for them to achieve their aspirations. There are a range of pathways into further vocational education and training post-school, and this can be confusing to navigate.

There is a need for the purposes of each NCEA level to be made clearer for students and whānau, so they can make more informed decisions in relation to NCEA.

Parents and employers thought the Record of Achievement was difficult to understand. It needs to more clearly show what learning has been achieved.

Key changes

  • Create a ‘graduate profile’ for each level of NCEA. This is a description of what a student awarded the qualification must be able to do and know. In short, Level 1 prepares you with the skills you need for life, including robust literacy and numeracy, and gets you ready for Level 2. Levels 2 and 3 provide further opportunities to specialise and deepen your knowledge and skills. Graduate profiles will also include the valuing of te ao Māori and Mātauranga Māori.
  • Set up a Vocational Entrance Award, similar to University Entrance (UE). Achieving this award will show that a student has done the necessary learning required by industry, employers and tertiary education organisations, and is ready for direct entry into higher-level vocational education training after NCEA.
  • Refine the Record of Achievement (RoA) to be clearer and more comprehensive in showing what the student knows and can do. It will include what they have achieved through NCEA, including certificate endorsements, course endorsements at Achieve, Merit and Excellence and a series of brief course descriptions.
  • We will explore ways to enhance the Vocational Pathways, in order to improve its usefulness as a navigation and planning tool for schools and foundation tertiary providers.

What you need to know

Developing a Vocational Entrance Award will be considered as part of the work on the Reform of Vocational Education.

Jeremy Baker at CoLab

NCEA Change Package Overview 2019

Read the NCEA Change Package Overview 2019 for more detail about the changes, the journey we took with New Zealand to get to them, and what an NCEA programme could look like.

cover image of overview document

Around 16,000 New Zealanders took part in the year-long review of NCEA, and the Ministry of Education is to continue to work with stakeholders to confirm a detailed design and implementation plan for the changes by the end of the year.

Read the other changes

  1. Make NCEA more accessible
  2. Mana ōrite mo te mātauranga Māori
  3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements
  4. Have fewer, larger standards
  5. Simplify NCEA’s structure
  6. Show clearer pathways to further education and employment
  7. Keep NCEA Level 1 as an optional level