Generally Fine but Occasionally Overcast with the Possibility of Thunder and Lightning: A Year in the Life of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority

  • Bryan Tuck

Abstract

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) was established by legislation in 1990. It has as a goal the establishment of a single standards setting system (The Framework), which will accommodate all national qualifications in post-compulsory education. There is no distinction made between vocational and academic education.

The discourse of the NZQA is consistent with the characterisation of education as an enterprise, where the “outcomes” are primarily determined by economic objectives, and educational institutions purchase the right to become providers of products. Implementing the Framework, and the core notion of “unit standards” has not been without its problems. Difficulties noted among others include the confusion over the roles and nature of Industrial Training Organisations, the use of participation in the changes as a political lever by secondary teachers, and the opposition of the Association of University Staff.

Critics have argued that all of the valued goals of education cannot be expressed in the discourse sanctioned by the NZQA, that the published “unit standards” do not in fact entail descriptions of standards, and that the logic underlying the hierarchy of levels is flawed. Despite the massive changes brought about by the introduction of the Framework, it may well be that these conceptual problems will result in further changes to its character.

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Author Biography

Bryan Tuck
Published
1994-12-05
How to Cite
TUCK, Bryan. Generally Fine but Occasionally Overcast with the Possibility of Thunder and Lightning: A Year in the Life of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 4, dec. 1994. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/nzaroe/article/view/1096>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/nzaroe.v0i4.1096.

Keywords

Educational Policy and Administration