International Students: Information for Schools

ERO’s Evaluation of Provision for International Students

According to our records, your school has international students enrolled and is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (the Code) established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

The Education Review Office (ERO), on behalf of the Code Administrator, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), evaluates the overall quality of education provided for international students.

ERO reviews support the three goals of the International-Education-Strategy-2018-2030.pdf ( He Rautaki Mātauranga a Ao.

These are to:

  • deliver excellent education and student experiences, te horahīranga mātauranga me nga wheake tauira
  • achieve sustainable growth, kia mau tonu te wahi hua
  • develop global citizens, whakawhanake tāngata a ao.

The overarching outcome is for a thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world class international education.

ERO’s evaluation of the quality of education provided for international students will build on your school’s internal review of your international student programme. It will include the school’s overall approach to international students, their pastoral care, with reference to the education programme provided and the students’ academic progress, achievement and participation in school and community life as required.

Our evaluation will focus on one key question:

How well is the school reviewing its provisions and outcomes for international students?

Further information on this is provided on page four in the list of indicators of good practice and sources of possible evidence.

Please have your school’s annual self-review documentation ready for the team to read and discuss with you during the review.

If your self-review reporting documentation and supporting information is robust and confirmed through initial meetings with international students and staff, there is likely to be less need for reviewers to verify findings through further discussion and review of relevant documentation.

If ERO identifies concerns about possible gaps in the school’s self-review process and pastoral care, particularly with reference to the Code, these will be reported and referred to NZQA for follow up. NZQA will determine what further steps need to be taken.

The below page that can be shared with the staff responsible so they can be well prepared.

International Students: Information for staff responsible for international students

ERO’s Evaluation of the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021

The following table summarises how ERO manages relationships and processes in reviews of international students and sets out ERO’s expectations of the staff responsible.


  • makes information about the review process available to the staff member responsible.
  • considers the way the school provides international students with a high quality education that meets their pastoral, academic and social needs, including progress and achievement.
The staff member responsible
  • makes relevant information about international students available to ERO
  • has available the annual self-review of its provision and outcomes for international students
  • works with the review team to facilitate discussions with international department staff and students.

Please arrange for the following documentation to be available at the time of the review:

  • A list of the names of all current international students enrolled in your school, their nationalities, year levels, status and their types of accommodation.
  • The names of the key people responsible for international students in these areas: pastoral care; accommodation; and provision of English language support.
  • Your annual self-review and compliance with the Code as outlined in clause 37 of the Code and the Code Annual Self Review Attestation.
  • Any other internal review or reporting documents relating to provisions or outcomes for international students, including reports to the board of trustees. 

ERO will be seeking evidence to address the key evaluative question:

How well is the school reviewing its provisions and outcomes for international students?

Some indicators of good practice and sources of possible evidence are listed on the next page.

Provision for International Students: Key Evaluative Question

How well is the school reviewing its provisions and outcomes for international students?

Indicators of good practice
  • Review uses the school’s own approach to internal evaluation (self-review).
  • The school’s review process is based on analysis of a range of information about students’ welfare, academic progress and social integration.
  • Board of Trustees (BOT) receives annual reports based on internal evaluation and strategic plan of the international programme and includes student achievement information.
  • Opportunities are provided for students to provide anonymous or confidential feedback through an independent person.
  • Internal evaluation findings inform decision-making.
  • The school takes action in response to internal evaluation.
  • Review is ongoing throughout the year.
  • The school monitors compliance with the Code (especially accommodation, attendance, and welfare) effectively to ensure all requirements are met.
Possible Evidence
  • Self-review report.
  • Opportunities for students to provide anonymous or confidential feedback.
  • Collated surveys of students, parents, homestay hosts, teachers.
  • Progress and achievement information.
  • Records of meetings with students and visits to accommodation.
  • Internal review reports and follow up action plans.
  • Board reports / minutes
  • Reports from IS or ESOL dept/faculty to principal/senior management.
  • Records of complaints with analysis, action plans, and improvement documentation.
  • Documented responsibility and process for monitoring compliance.
  • Annual attestation sent to NZQA.