Code of Practice for International students

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Code of Practice for the pastoral care of international students

When international students come to study in New Zealand, they deserve to be well informed, safe and nurtured while here, as well as well prepared to adapt to the change in culture, and life in New Zealand. They also need to understand not only the benefits of studying in New Zealand, but also "...the costs they will face, the reality of day-to-day life, and where relevant, what kind of employment opportunities they are likely to have during and after study" (NZQA, 2016, p. 5). Otherwise, they may experience a variety of issues including loneliness, isolation, homesickness, culture shock, language challenges and lack of confidence. The New Zealand government recognizes the importance of ensuring that these students are well supported.

To this end, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has developed a Code of Practice of Pastoral Care for International Students (updated in 2016) to which all education providers are expected to adhere. This revised Code of Practice replaced the 2010 version and took effect from 1 July 2016. Information about transition arrangements for students who entered New Zealand prior to the change can be accessed on the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) website. Ten outcomes are outlined in the document.

Outcome 1: Marketing and promotion.
Outcome 2: Managing and monitoring agents.
Outcome 3: Offers, enrolment, and contracts.
Outcome 3: Offers, enrolment, and contracts – Insurance.
Outcome 4: Immigration matters.
Outcome 5: Orientation.
Outcome 6: Safety and well-being.
Outcome 6: Safety and well-being – Accommodation.
Outcome 7: Student advice, support, and services.
Outcome 8: Managing withdrawal and closure.
Outcome 9 and 10: Grievance procedures.

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1. Tell a story about a group of international students that study in your department - who they are, what they study, country of origin, expectations of the students, challenges, and successes.
If you don't have any international students in your subject, talk to a colleague who does.
2. Select one of the outcomes from the Code of Practice of Pastoral Care for International Students (NZQA, 2016) that you believe is relevant to your teaching context.
  • In your own words, outline the intent of the outcome, and describe two actions from the Code of Practice.
  • Discuss the reasons these actions would benefit international students studying in the programme where you teach.
  • Post to your portfolio.
  • Share on the Moodle discussion forum.


Extra resources

Additional resources you may wish to check out.


NZQA. (2016). Code of Practice of Pastoral Care for International Students. NZQA. Retrieved from