An External Evaluation Review (EER) is conducted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) every few years and all tertiary education providers in New Zealand and assessed on their ability to self evaluate. For two weeks in May 2018, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is being assessed by NZQA evaluators about how well teaching, learning and student support is carried out in the Bay of Plenty. Every area of the institute from the Board of Directors, Executive Management, Leaders and Tutors are spoken to and asked questions by NZQA. The outcomes of EER affirm the positive work being done at Toi Ohomai and gives confirmation to students that their studies are being completed in an organisation of excellence.
Student Pulse are extremely pleased to be able to contribute, in a small way, to the EER process as we have input through the Learning Quality and Standards Committee (LQSC) which Emire, Student President, is a member of. This committee oversees and checks all new qualifications that are being developed and they also support teaching and learning at the institute. We also have input into the EER process through being asked to be part of the Student Voice component of the EER. In 2017 representatives of Student Pulse had input into the EER preparation process and spoke about how Toi Ohomai listens to and supports students. Emire has been invited to be part of the 2018 representatives who speak on matters relating to student support and voice at Toi Ohomai. This is a huge privilege and we are very thankful for this opportunity.
Most students of Toi Ohomai won’t know that the EER process is happening and that’s okay. Students number one task is complete their studies. There are other students, in particular programs, who will be meeting with the NZQA evaluators and those students are in the following areas of study – Professional Studies, Forestry, Creative Industries, Trade Skills, Applied Management, Culinary Arts, and Foundation Skills. Those students have an opportunity to have their voices heard directly by NZQA which is a big deal!
The student buddy program which Student Pulse runs in association with the Toi Ohomai International Department is another exciting development and one that the International Centre team have described to the NZQA team. We recognise the power of student led initiatives and programs and we hope to grow the program more broadly in the next 6 to 18 months.
So what does all this mean for you – the student? Having an EER done gives you, the community and the government confidence that Toi Ohomai is doing the right things and giving students the very best in education possible. And if things aren’t going so well in your classroom or life then Student Pulse is here to help you get your stuff sorted! As always if you need help please contact us and we will do our very best to support you.