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Changes to NZ student English requirements come into effect 1 Oct

Posted on September  08 , 2015

Prospective students applying to study in New Zealand may be affected changes to the rules on English language requirements for studying at New Zealand institutes.

From 1 October 2015, all students who have studied in English may not be exempt from IELTS or other English test requirements. [Note that this has now been extended to 24 October 2015].

There are changes to using internal English proficiency assessments and previous study at schools where English is the medium of instruction, as evidence of English proficiency for international students.

NZQA Category 1 and approved Category 2 providers can now use internal English proficiency assessments only for international students from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent. 

NZQA Category 1, 2 and 3 providers can now use previous study at schools where English is the medium of instruction as evidence of English proficiency only for international students from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent.

The list of countries and their approval rate was released on 1 September. Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are below the threshold.

International students from countries with a student visa approval rate below 80 per cent. must use one of the following methods to demonstrate that they have the required level of English proficiency to study in New Zealand:

  • has gained NCEA level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements; or
  • holds a Bachelor’s degree of at least three years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States of America; or
  • has achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA); or
  • has achieved the required score in one of the following internationally recognised English proficiency tests within the preceding two years:
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
      • University of Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
      • University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
      • University of Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)
      • International English for Speakers of Other Languages qualifications by City and Guilds (IESOL)
      • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PToE)
      • New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL)
      • English Language proficiency test of the Educational Testing Service (TOEFL)

These changes will apply to student visa applications submitted to Immigration New Zealand from 1 October 2015.  [Note that this has now been extended to 24 October 2015].

Source: NZQA

These changes do not affect NZ skilled migration.

For further information, Contact Us. We assist with applications to study in New Zealand from applying to institutes to applying for visas.

The Visa Centre Pvt Ltd’s sister company Unitech Institute of Vocational and Trade Training offers classes in IELTS.