Accelerated learning for graduate research qualifications

K Roe (Account suspended) made this Official Information request to Tertiary Education Commission

The request was refused by Tertiary Education Commission.

From: K Roe (Account suspended)

Dear Tertiary Education Commission,

I have found online information pertaining to SAC level 3 and above funded qualifications.

I understand that tertiary providers are required to provide a certain number of notional learning weeks for particular EFTS / number of weeks / points values / number of hours per week qualifications. If this does not happen the institution can (rightly) get into trouble with the Tertiary Education Commission.

The TEC allows that students may *choose* to accelerate their learning in some instances by completing a 3 year qualification in 2 1/2 years by *choosing* to undertaking additional learning. For example, choosing to enrol in more than the minimum number of papers during a semester, or choosing to enrol in summer school.

The TEC states that up to 1.56 EFTS may be done by a student who chooses to work 52 weeks of the year.

I am wondering if, given that, a student may choose to complete a 3 EFT, PhD that would 'normally' take 3 years in just under 2 years as an accelerated learner (since 1.56x2=3.12)?

Of course, examiners may elect to outright fail any thesis that a student submits for examination on the grounds that academically it is terrible and the Univerity is of course obliged to base the outcome of examination (including reccommendation to re-enrol for an extended period) on the reports of the examiners.

If the University was compelled to accept the thesis (say within 10 weeks of substantive revisions) within 102 weeks then the Tertiary Education Commission could not object that there was not enough notional learning in the production of the 3 EFT qualification, though, could it?

Yours faithfully,

A person in New Zealand,

Kelly Roe.

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From: Sector Helpdesk Mailbox
Tertiary Education Commission

Thank you for contacting the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) – Sector

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From: Hugh McIlraith
Tertiary Education Commission

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Attachment OI 19 01190 SAC eligibility rules Response.pdf
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Kia ora Kelly, please find attached a letter responding to you request.

Your sincerely


Hugh McIlraith

Team Leader

Ministerial Services
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From: K Roe (Account suspended)

Dear Hugh McIlraith,

Thankyou for taking the time to respond to my official request for information.

To clarify my request:

I am requesting information about TEC regulations rather than asking the TEC to form an opinion or to create information.

I am asking whether it would violate TEC regulations for a University to allow a student to complete a Graduate Research Qualification as an accelerated learner?

In other words, if a University were to say 'we cannot let you complete a 120 point research qualification in less than 52 weeks *solely because* it would violate TEC regulations' then would they be correct or incorrect about that?

Yours sincerely,

A person in NZ,

K Roe

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From: Hugh McIlraith
Tertiary Education Commission

Kia ora Kelly,

Based on the information you have provided it would not be possible to assess whether the circumstances you have outlined meet the TEC's funding conditions. Therefore it would not be appropriate to comment.

If you would like to review the TEC's funding conditions you can find them on our website. The 2019 Student Achievement Component funding conditions can be found on the TEC's website at:

If you would like to undertake an accelerated course of study, I would recommend that you discuss your options with the university concerned.

Yours sincerely

Hugh McIlraith

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