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PTE owner: NZQA closure process “unbelievable”

The owner of a New Zealand private training establishment closed by New Zealand Qualifications Authority has described the process as “unbelievable” and “upsetting”.

EIA's owner Roya Jazbani said she believed her school was compliant with NZQA. Photo: EIAEIA's owner Roya Jazbani said she believed her school was compliant with NZQA. Photo: EIA

NZQA's told The PIE that the regulator undertook standard procedures when considering the future of EIA

Roya Jazbani, whose Auckland-based Excellent International Academy closed on 26 January, said she did not understand why her school was closed, as she felt she had addressed quality assurance concerns identified by NZQA in 2017.

“We spent a lot of extra money, we employed a lot of extra people, we bought a lot of extra resources,” she said.

“The de-registration of EIA was the last step in a long process”

“We thought by 2018 we were compliant.”

EIA first came to the attention of the authority in March 2017, after raising concerns around “English language proficiency testing and compliance with assessment and moderation requirements” for the PTE’s then-new Diploma of Business.

After working with EIA, NZQA issued an intention to cancel the provider’s registration as a PTE on 22 November 2017, with a response required by 13 December.

Jazbani told The PIE News that while she filed a response, she did not believe NZQA considered it fully, and on 26 January three NZQA officials entered her office to inform her EIA would close at the end of the day.

A timeline of key dates in Excellent International Academy closure:

22 Nov 2017 NZQA notifies EIA of the intention to cancel its registration as a PTE, requiring a response by 13 December 2017.
7 Dec 2017 Meeting between EIA and NZQA regarding the proposed deregistration.
13 Dec 2017 EIA provides NZQA a written submission on the proposed deregistration.
14-15 Dec 2017 NZQA considers EIA’s submission.
26 Jan 2018 NZQA advised EIA that it has decided to cancel the registration of EIA as a PTE.
26 Jan 2018 After a request from EIA, NZQA agrees not to contact the students before 5pm Thursday 1 February.
1 Feb 2018 NZQA meets with EIA and its legal representation in the morning.
1 Feb 2018 In the afternoon, NZQA advises EIA and its legal representation that it intends to proceed with the cancellation of registration.
1 Feb 2018 EIA’s legal representation confirms to NZQA no legal action will be taken by EIA regarding NZQA’s decision.

“We were doomed to close and we couldn’t do anything about it,” she claimed.

“If they told us in March 2017 when they looked at the result that there was no way we can continue because the results are shocking, then we would have [done things] totally differently.”

NZQA’s deputy chief executive quality assurance, Grant Klinkum, told The PIE that the regulator undertook standard procedures when considering the future of EIA.

“NZQA fully considered the EIA submissions on the notice of intention to cancel registration and reached a decision based on serious concerns in relation to educational performance and compliance with NZQA rules,” he said.

“The de-registration of EIA was the last step in a long process.”

Klinkum added that de-registration of a provider only takes place after careful consideration.

“Any regulatory decision taken by NZQA, is not one taken lightly, and the outcome sought is considered best to ensure high-quality tertiary education outcomes in New Zealand.”

EIA enrolled around 150 international students, who Klinkum said were now the highest priority of NZQA, as it ensures they receive adequate support at this time.

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9 Responses to PTE owner: NZQA closure process “unbelievable”

  1. Very sad to hear that another genuine provider is targeted by NZQA. It is sad to say but a fact that New Zealand does not have a fair law. New Zealand Qualification Authority is given so much power and there is no appeal system. There is a complaint and appeal process; which is there to make people fool. It says ‘Do you want to make complaint about NZQA – write to NZQA’, how ridiculous is this? As a result, NZQA staff misuse their powers. Imagine how one person can ruin a business in few hours!!

    At every closure, Dr Grant makes statement that student support is NZQA’s responsibility and NZQA takes students support as priority. This is 100% lie, silly and ridiculous statement; which is consistent in all the media statements made by Dr Grant in all the closures. The fact is that Dr Grant has nothing to do with these students. He may not even know what students have gone through. In fact his belief is that ‘these students should not have come to the country’. He has no idea that how NZ government including NZQA and Immigration has played with these students lives. Immigration NZ gave visas to these students exactly as they had instruction to do so. NZQA did not look at anything. And suddenly NZQA has followed an unfair approach to close the PTE’s down to get rid of the students.

    Please note that NZQA does have favouritism; they have their favourite providers. No more comment on this at this stage.

    As far as processes are concerned; they have the permit to make mistakes as there is no complaint or appeal process. No choice, people have to live with this.

    Let me comment on NZQA’s capability and quality assurance; it’s so poor that any staff at NZQA can’t answer properly. Most of the staff are so incompetent – not sure how they are given jobs – and how they are promoted to these positions. I am sure every provider will have records of the mistakes which NZQA makes. But they do not even feel embarrassment on this. There capability can be evidenced by the ex-NZQA staff records. The records show that where ever ex-NZQA staff has joined, those PTE’s are either closed or they are in big trouble with NZQA or they have poor quality. This is there capability.

    My recommendation would be that NZQA should stop doing audits/monitoring/EER’s for the providers and do their through risk assessment/self-assessment and then plan for the quality assurance for NZ providers.

    Anyway nothing is not going to be changed – This is New Zealand.

  2. Although it is good that stories about the inadequacy of nzqa practices are reported, it also feels like an exercise in frustration. Any casual survey of people working in the industry reveals stories of teachers and administrators who have experienced being treated unfairly, or being made to feel irrelevant and disrespected. Yet the spokespeople for nzqa just say ” hey we are just doing our jobs.” or the usual nonsense that Grant Klinkum is quoted as saying in the article and since they have a ridiculous amount of autonomy, they get away with it. They hide behind the shield of protecting students, but in fact the ESL students at Excellent were treated appallingly by nzqa, not to mention the staff who suddenly found themselves jobless through no fault of their own. Yes, of course nzqa make sure students are protected financially and in terms of their immigration status, but those aren’t the only factors which ‘ensure high-quality tertiary education outcomes’. Those students lost the relationships they had with their teachers and classmates as well as the feeling of being able to learn in a supportive and safe environment. Nzqa does nothing but pay those concepts lip service. What they are more concerned with is protecting their own jobs and the fiefdom in which they operate. A change in their tactics can only happen at a governmental level, and with the current climate of anti-immigration in new zealand, that seems unlikely

  3. I would like to write that I have seen students not being beneficial at all after this process. Instead, they have been punished in the sense of fees and timing. Students from Business programmes have only until 28/02 to apply for a new visa, and Public Trust won’t refund them on time! I believe this process is being done to get rid of the students, in fact, not to protect them.
    Yes, EIA have done some serious mistakes, but in the overall all of those mistakes were corrected, NZQA did not consider that.
    They took a small period of assessments not up to standard and used this as an argument to close the whole school down. They did not consider the assessments of 2017, did not consider the General English courses and this side of the business. After all of the improvements and investments done by EIA team they came in and close everything down in less than 6 hours. The process was not clear and fair, students were not beneficiaries at all. It is a really shame.

  4. In fact this process is not bringing any good to students once they only have until 28/02 to apply for new visas, but refund only come in on 28/02. Also need to consider that students from English courses were very unfairly treated, they ar being punished for something not related to their programme, because their course did not have 1 non compliance, and they lost their classes, are still waiting for refund and all of that.

  5. Very sad and disappointed about this, Many English students still waiting for the refund fee from Public Trust. They don’t have enough extra money to pay another new school. Just waiting there and can’t do anything, they lost time and money during the period of waiting. International students come to NZ to study English, they are innocent but be treated like this. New Zealand promotes itself as the last pure land in the world, now I don’t think so. It looks like NZQA can be higher than the court to judge and decide every International student’s fate. They don’t care students situation actually. I am very disappointed to this country.

  6. its so sad to hear they close down,i study there before,the teacher and staff so nice and classmate said when he came back from NZ by refused in airport,becasue the immgaration said his visa by cancel becasue school close down.but they said before our visa until 28/02.Its not fair ,and NZQA said they will refun and protect students,but how?we came to NZ study English and have a study plan in future,its suddenly closed,cancel visa for short time ,we need spent more time to looking new school,apply visa,adapt to the new teacher lecture method,in peior of time,we waste time and money.Important things we cant study ,we only can waiting to to solve the problems.Its not fair to us,they don’t care us situation actually.

  7. I am also our studnet ,my teacher so nice ,he is the most passionate teacher I have ever seen. This school is also the most friendly team I’ve ever felt. No matter at any time, there is any need, they will be the first time to help students . I do not know what problems let NZQA suddenly shut down the school, but irrespective of any error, it should not be irresponsible to students. After the school colse down, the principal and few staff are still helping us to answer questions and tell us what hapeening. But how about NZQA ? they said to protect us, refund momey,but they only give few time to change the visa,the risk still need we solved for ourself…………this country policy make us disappointed……………

    • This was a political matter when you were dealing with the politician with the government; it’s not academic, the criteria for you discuss the competence level of NZQA staff it’s nothing to do with your world. The decision maker at NZQA does not have the interest on their published value. If you refer to the media, you will see that NZQA senior try everything to defend themselves, but at the same time attack their primary stakeholders.

      The experience above reflects that NZQA does not accountable for anything, such conduct significantly omitted the core value, it’s a joke to ensure the quality standards when the relations and engagements between NZQA with the school focus on defensive and attack approach.
      The automatic consequence is destroying the trust, and relation, reputation for everyone belong to the process as a whole.

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