Historic agreement opens up study options for NZ and Korean students

An historic statement that has been signed by education officials from the Republic of Korea and New Zealand will pave the way for students to further their studies in either country.

“The signing of the statement means we can now undertake further bilateral work that has the potential to open up a world of study opportunities for young people here and in the Republic of Korea,” says education secretary Iona Holsted.

“The joint statement is a step towards our students being able to have previous qualifications more easily recognised abroad and will provide access to further study that has traditionally been difficult to access. While there is still more to do, I’m looking forward to seeing the shared benefits for both countries.”

The joint recognition statement between the two countries, signed in Wellington this week, follows the completion of a joint research report: Comparison of Senior Secondary School Qualifications.

The research report, prepared by researchers from the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation and subject matter experts and staff from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the Ministry of Education, will support higher education institutions in both countries to make decisions about the comparability of Korean High School Certificate and the New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) level three.

The report indicates that senior secondary school curricula in the two countries are broadly comparable. This conclusion was based on the number of common denominators for mathematics and science subjects using the concept of internationally recognised ‘best-fit’.

NZQA spokesman Dr Karen Poutasi said the Recognition Statement is the first of its kind signed by Korea and is a sign of confidence in the quality of education in both countries. Formal acknowledgement of cooperation arrangements and recognition statements is increasingly common practice in a globally connected world. NZQA aims to have qualification recognition arrangements with at least 50 countries by 2020.

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