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PTE owner: NZQA closure process “unbelievable”

The owner of a New Zealand private training establishment closed by NZQA 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 NZQA 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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