Educational performance indicators

The Tertiary Education Commission has published a set of indicators to measure the educational performance of universities and other Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs). These are intended to provide the public with a basis for comparison between tertiary institutions in terms of the performance of their domestic students.

The University of Auckland placed first for two of the indicators and second for the remaining two. We’re very pleased with these results, but we also believe indicators provide only a limited picture of educational performance.

Prospective students and their families should also take into account the wide range of information available on university websites and in their publications.

To help prospective students and other stakeholders to assess what the Tertiary Education Commission indicators mean and how much reliance should be placed on them, we offer the following comments:

Educational performance indicators

Four indicators are reported by the TEC. They should be interpreted with caution because they are not adjusted for underlying parameters (e.g. student ethnicity, part-time vs full-time status) that are likely to influence them.

Successful completion of courses

This indicator refers to the proportion of courses or individual components of a qualification passed relative to enrolments.

The University puts considerable effort into supporting its students to achieve high course completion rates. We have robust quality assurance processes to ensure that academic standards are maintained and these processes have been commended in a recent academic audit.

For information about quality assurance, planning, reporting and review of teaching and learning at The University of Auckland visit Learning and teaching quality assurance.

Completion of qualifications

This indicator refers to the number of students who have successfully completed all components required for a qualification compared to the total number enrolled. The completion of individual courses contributes toward completion of a qualification.

The University of Auckland’s high course completion rates and retention beyond the first year of study contribute to its high qualification completion rate.

Comparisons between tertiary education institutions for this indicator are not appropriate. This is because many factors unrelated to the quality of teaching and learning are likely to influence the result, such as changes in the number of new students enrolling in a particular year or differences between institutions in business processes.

Student progression to higher level study

This indicator refers to the proportion of students who have completed pre-degree study and progressed to a higher level of study. For us, this measures progression from foundation programmes to degree level study.

The University of Auckland offers a small number of places in its foundation programmes as part of its equity objectives. These programmes are designed to provide a pathway into degree-level study, and students are selected for their potential to succeed at university. High rates of progression to higher-level study are therefore expected.

For information on pathways to tertiary study at the University of Auckland, visit Preparation programmes.

Students retained in study

This indicator refers to the proportion of students in a given year who completed a qualification or re-enrolled at the same tertiary education institution in the following year.The high quality of teaching and learning at the University of Auckland, the calibre of its students and the support it provides to its students, all contribute to its high student retention rates. Research in New Zealand and overseas shows that student retention beyond the first year of study is a key determinant in successful outcomes and the University therefore includes first-year retention as one of its own key performance indicators.