Relevant, Unique Aspects of Context and Environment

Unique aspects of the context/environment particularly relevant to understanding higher or management education landscape: 


New Zealand students undertake a three-year Bachelor’s degree, usually with a common first year core followed by specialization into majors and minors. There are also many specialized Master’s degrees. A recent trend has been to changes from two-year Master’s (240 credits) to 18 month Master’s (180 credits). The PhD follows the British system of independent study, rather than the coursework intensive models favored in the U.S.


Quality is maintained by Universities New Zealand, which is a sector-based organization jointly run by the eight Universities. All substantial changes to academic programs must be approved by the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP), run by Universities New Zealand.


Another distinctive feature of New Zealand tertiary education is that undergraduate classes are not usually capped. That means that New Zealand faculty may teach large classes of several hundred students at second and third year of a Bachelor’s degree, often assisted by tutors offering supplementary small group instruction or small group exercises. As a corollary, faculty are often required to undertake fewer classes than would be the case in the United States, for example.


As noted above, all eight universities are members of AACSB, seven hold AACSB Business accreditation, and one holds the additional AACSB Accounting accreditation. Forty percent of university revenue comes from government grants, and the remainder from student fees and research grants and trading activities.