Fewer students with University Entrance

Last year, 4,000 fewer students gained UE than the previous year. The success rate was 58% compared with 71% the previous year. Results for 2014 were available in January this year. Most universities start lectures at the end of February or beginning of March.

The reason for this drop is partly because it has become harder to gain UE. NZQA announced changes three years ago to give students plenty of time to change their courses. Students now need 60 credits at level 3 instead of 42, and 42 of these credits must be from 3 approved subjects. Some students did not choose 3 approved subjects from the list.

The universities said that too many students failed their first year courses at university. Some students were not academically ready to study at a tertiary level. All New Zealand universities are funded by the tax payer as well as by student fees – tax payers do not want their money wasted.

Although a 5% drop in the pass rate was expected, the result has shown that some students did not know about the changes. For this reason, most universities will interview students who had good results but in the wrong subjects. Some students, therefore, may be allowed to enrol in first year courses while others will have to do bridging courses first.

In New Zealand, only about 30% of students who leave school each year, attend university.


• NZQA – New Zealand Qualifications Authority
• tertiary – third level of education e.g. university or polytech (primary – 1st level, secondary – 2nd level)
• approved subjects – on a list
• bridging courses – prepare students for first year courses

Leave a Reply