A recent exhaustive review by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) ended with WITT being given the highest grade possible for academic achievement.
Academic director Christine Fenton is delighted with the result, which confirms WITT’s place among the best-performing tertiary institutes in the country. She explains the process.
“Formerly NZQA would ensure tertiary institutions were performing by sending in a team of auditors for a week. They would go through various documents, procedures and policies, and you passed, or had to do work, for another four years.
“The Government decided to change things to ensure quality so brought in a new way of ensuring institutes were capable of monitoring themselves. Instead of a team coming in to see if we’re doing a good job, the new way is ensuring that we know we’re doing a good job and that it is high quality.’’
Christine says the panel from NZQA still comes for a week, but now they are looking for two things. “One is to see that we have good educational outcomes for our students and that our performances in that are as good. Secondly they rate us on our ability to monitor ourselves and fix things that are broken. So really it is now self-assessment capability.’’
In May, WITT was put through the new hoops – checks are still made every four years – and the report was a beauty.
NZQA declared themselves “Highly Confident’’ in WITT’s academic and educational performance and outcomes and they were “Confident’’ in its ability to deliver what’s needed.
It’s the ultimate seal of approval for WITT. ‘’Highly Confident’’ is the highest grading NZQA can give. That means students, their parents and others don’t need to take the institute’s word for it – it’s now official, WITT is as good as it gets.
Christine says being given the grading also has other advantages. “Being judged to be in the highest category bracket means we get special treatment from NZQA from now. For example if we apply for accreditation for something, we don’t have to necessarily need to go through a huge bureaucratic process, because we’ve already demonstrated we can handle it.”
As academic director Christine takes some pride from the grading.
“In WITT’s journey we’ve done a very good job in turning around our finances, and now our academic processes are judged to be absolutely top quality.’’