The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has just undertaken consultation on possible changes to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Possible changes include deleting the Level 8 Bachelor Honours qualification type from the Framework and also removing level 7 Diplomas. Engineering New Zealand has submitted on the possible changes.

Level 8 Bachelor Honours Degree 

NZQA consulted on a series of options to address perceived issues with the Level 8 Bachelor Honours degree. Options proposed range from renaming this qualification type, to removing it entirely from the Framework. This could lead to the 4-year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – BE (Hons) – being renamed and/or re-classified from Level 8 to Level 7 on the Framework.

In our view, the Level 8 Bachelor Honours qualification type provides an important and appropriate differentiation from the Level 7 (typically 3-year) Bachelor Degree (including the Bachelor of Engineering Technology).

The Level 8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) is the entry into practice qualification for professional engineers in New Zealand and is widely recognised overseas through Engineering New Zealand’s membership in the Washington Accord. Re-classifying the BE (Hons) to Level 7 would misrepresent the academic level of the qualification and would have the potential to impact the standing of the qualification overseas.  A change to the name of the qualification would be likely to create considerable confusion in the market.

Engineering New Zealand opposes any change to the Level 8 Bachelor (Honours) Degree.

The future of Level 7 Diplomas 

At the moment, the difference between Level 7 Diplomas and other Diplomas (Level 1–6) is unclear and NZQA is questioning whether Level 7 Diplomas are needed on the Framework. NZQA is proposing to either remove Level 7 Diplomas or to extend Levels 1–6 to include Level 7.

There are a small number of Level 7 Diplomas in engineering offered by New Zealand training institutes, primarily targeting the international student market.

Engineering New Zealand is not convinced these qualifications are needed in the New Zealand market. However, if offered, these qualifications need demonstrable quality and relevance. So we have submitted to NZQA that all Level 7 Diplomas should be included in the regulatory framework for Levels 1–6 qualifications.

Read our submission   |  265.9 KB