QTI Member Articles

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Qualification Victory for Carey Baptist College

Carey Baptist College received notification in July that their courses offered in Mandarin have been approved for accreditation by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The College began seeking accreditation for the courses 3 years ago, but was told by NZQA that only courses in English and Maori were considered valid.

Dean of Studies Michael Hanson says that, while they acknowledge the importance of English and Maori as New Zealand�s official languages, �if you don�t allow other options you run the risk of marginalising large parts of our community.� They decided to lobby to get the policy changed.

Their efforts were supported by the Chinese community, including the College�s Chinese Advisory Committee - a group made up of Chinese business people and church leaders. �The Committee provides support and advice for the development of our courses,� says Hanson. �While we have a small handful of international students from China, most of our Mandarin speaking students come from the local community, and they want to be involved in that community, filling roles in local Chinese churches.�

The College sent letters to a wide range of MPs, who generally supported their case. Then Education Minister Hon. Trevor Mallard responded by saying that, although such applications were not �business as usual�, �The Qualifications Authority advise me that they will endeavour to provide the capacity to approve and accredit courses in languages other than English and Maori, and would welcome an application from you.�� Assisted by their NZQA Auditor, Carey Baptist College received approval to deliver their courses in Chinese.

�Although it�s been a battle,� says Hanson, �we�re very encouraged by the initiative NZQA have shown and we�d like to acknowledge their willingness to provide opportunities such as this for groups within our community.�< /br>

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