COVID-19: Government announces extra NCEA credits to make up for coronavirus disruption

Senior secondary school students will be given extra NCEA credits to make up for COVID-19 disruption, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Wednesday.

"For each 5 credits a student attains towards their NCEA, they will be entitled to an additional 1 Learning Recognition credit, up to a maximum of 10 additional credits for students undertaking NCEA Level 1, or up to a maximum of 8 additional credits for students at NCEA Levels 2 or 3," Hipkins said.

University entrance will be awarded to students who achieve 12 credits in each of three approved subjects, Hipkins said, but they will still need NCEA level 3 and have to meet numeracy and literacy requirements.

"As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system and the Government is moving to ensure students will not be penalised, while preserving the integrity of our national qualification," said Hipkins.

Previously, students required 14 credits in three approved subjects.

"As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system and the Government is moving to ensure students will not be penalised, while preserving the integrity of our national qualification," said Hipkins.

"Students can be confident that an NCEA attained this year will continue to open doors to tertiary study, vocational education, or employment.

"This reduction of two credits per approved subject recognises that students may not have had the same opportunity to achieve as in other years, while continuing to ensure students are ready to undertake university study."

Hipkins also confirmed students would be awarded merit or excellence endorsement should they achieve 46 credits at that level - rather than the usual 50.

"In addition to the changes announced, I have asked NZQA and the Ministry of Education to consider how schools might identify and collect evidence that could be used to credential the learning and skills gained by young people outside of their formal school programme of learning," he said.

"These changes have been endorsed by my NCEA Professional Advisory Group, and I’d like to thank them for their robust advice. I also recognise the work Universities New Zealand and individual universities have done alongside officials to develop the changes to UE."

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