Closed business school 'failed to meet standards'

A private training school in south Auckland has been shut down after the qualifications authority found it had failed to meet crucial standards.

The closure of the Aotearoa Tertiary Institute, which offered training for NZIM Diploma in management and New Zealand Diploma in business, will affect around 200 international students.

Those students are now the ``first priority'' for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) following the closure of the Otahuhu college, the agency said.

The situation was ``very disappointing'', said Dr Grant Klinkum, NZQA deputy chief executive of quality assurance.

``Rules haven't been met regarding provision of suitable premises for the number of students enrolled, using sufficiently competent staff, managing student attendance, keeping adequate records of student enrolment and achievement, and implementing their own quality management system.''

NZQA was now focused on ensuring all 200 students were able to continue their study, he said.

``NZQA is working with a high quality tertiary education organisation who will provide a full package of learning and support for ATI students.

``We have contacted students with information about what has happened and how they can continue their studies.''

Quality assurance was something NZQA takes extremely seriously, Dr Klinkum said, to ensure New Zealand qualifications were robust, credible and internationally recognised.

``NZQA will not tolerate poor quality education provision,'' he said.

``Where providers are not meeting the standards we expect of them we take action to ensure system integrity.

``The great majority of providers deliver excellent tertiary education and conform to the rules and requirements.''

The closure comes in the wake of a number of scandals involving tertiary providers.

The Herald revealed in December that institutes with thousands of international students were called in for a warning meeting after top officials feared they showed similar problems to a college which was shut down after a cheating scandal.

The meeting was held amid concerns such colleges were abusing the international student visa system.

It followed the closure of disgraced New Zealand International Academy, which shut down after two staff went public with claims there were told to prepare fake results for more than 250 English language tests.

Six tertiary providers have been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in the past two years. Taxpayers forked out millions of dollars to institutions which failed to deliver the education they promised, with one collapsing after being ordered to pay back $6 million.

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