Completion of qualifications

This indicator shows the proportion of students in a given year who complete a qualification.

It also provides a good indication of how successful tertiary providers are in helping their students to complete qualifications. The qualification completion rate provides an indication of longer-term educational performance, as many qualifications will take several years for students to complete.

Students who complete a qualification tend to earn significantly more than those who complete a number of courses but do not complete a qualification.

However, some students will enrol at a tertiary education provider without wishing to complete a qualification. For example, a student might want to only acquire certain skills, rather than completing a full qualification.

In general, the proportion of those completing a qualification will be lower than the proportion completing a single course.

Overall performance

The following tables show the qualification completion rate by level of qualification and by provider type between 2011 and 2014.

The rates are shown for Student Achievement Component (SAC) and Youth Guarantee (YG) funded students. 

 

Table 1: SAC rate of qualification completion across all tertiary providers by level of qualification
Level
of study
Rate
2011
EFTS
delivered
2011
Rate
2012
EFTS
delivered
2012
Rate
2013
EFTS
delivered
2013
Rate
2014
EFTS
delivered
2014
Level 1-2 62% 17,636 68% 17,303 72% 15,514 69% 13,444
Level 3-4 67% 50,828 69% 51,300 73% 51,097 71% 49,914
Level 5-6 67% 27,053 72% 26,587 72% 25,266 74% 24,303
Level 7-8 74% 127,856 80% 129,469 81% 127,708 82% 126,583
Level 9-10 80% 12,482 89% 12,666 93% 12,743 92% 13,424

 

Table 2: YG rate of qualification completion across all tertiary providers by level of qualification
Level of study Rate 2013 EFTS delivered
2013
Rate 2014 EFTS delivered
2014
Level 1-2 47% 5,522 57% 7,061
Level 3-4 67% 2,018 69% 2,555
Level 5-6 - - - -
Level 7-8 - - - -
Level 9-10 - - - -

 

Table 3: SAC rate of qualification completion by provider type
Type of tertiary provider Rate
2011
EFTS
delivered
2011
Rate
2012
EFTS
delivered
2012
Rate
2013
EFTS
delivered
2013
Rate
2014
EFTS
delivered
2014
Universities 75% 117,928 80% 118,490 81% 116,660 81% 115,769
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics 63% 65,240 70% 66,886 73% 63,088 73% 61,194
Wānanga 67% 24,528 68% 24,553 78% 24,702 72% 23,945
Private Training Establishments* 79% 28,461 83% 27,441 79% 27,889 83% 26,767

 

Table 4: YG rate of qualification completion by provider type
Type of tertiary provider Rate 2013 EFTS delivered
2013
Rate 2014 EFTS delivered
2014
Universities - - - -
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics 60% 1,983 65% 2,330
Wānanga 62% 318 76% 568
Private Training Establishments 49% 5,196 57% 6,670

 

Factors that may affect the qualification completion rate

Embedded qualifications

A factor that can affect the qualification completion rate is the practice of embedding qualifications. This is where students are awarded a qualification(s) as part of completing a larger qualification. This can inflate the qualification completion rate and may need to be taken into account in comparing qualification completion rates across providers.

TEC discourages the practice of purposefully embedding qualifications to inflate qualification completion rates. TEC will monitor whether any qualification rates appear to be inflated by embedded qualifications and any concerns will be discussed with the organisation.

Changing enrolment patterns

The qualification completion indicator uses the number of each year's current qualification completions against the current enrolments. This means that changes in enrolment numbers from year to year may also affect the qualification completion rate especially for qualifications that are more than one-year long. For example, a group of 100 students start a three-year qualification in 2012 and complete it in 2014 but only 50 start the same qualification in 2014. This lower number of enrolments would result in a higher 2014 qualification completion rate. Conversely, if there is an increase in a TEO's enrolments at levels 7–8, this would result in a decrease in the qualification completion rate even if the TEO's performance has stayed the same.

Qualifications with strands

Stranded qualifications are qualifications that allow a student to specialise in a particular area of a subject. An example is the National Diploma in Extractive Industries (Site Management) (Level 5) with strands in Surface Extraction and Underground Extraction. Sometimes these strands can have different credit values. This can affect the qualification completion rate. Existing data systems only capture the highest possible EFTS, with the result a student could complete the qualification with fewer EFTS delivered than another student in the same qualification. This could inflate the qualification completion rate.

  • Last changed: 4 August 2015
  • Last verified: 4 August 2015