ACG New Zealand International College 16/06/2008


ACG New Zealand International College (ACG NZIC) is a private school, owned by the Academic Colleges Group (ACG). It provides primarily for international students who are seeking pathways to tertiary study. It has premises on two sites in Auckland City, one in the inner city suburb of Parnell and another in the central business district. The school has been restructured since the 2005 ERO review as part of an endeavour to provide better tuition tailored more specifically to the particular learning needs of international students.

The ACG NZIC offers The University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies programme, accredited by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee. In addition at the inner city campus the ACG English School, a division of ACG NZIC, has the primary objective of improving students' English in preparation for IELTS examinations and future study. The courses offered by ACG International College have NZQA accreditation.

The primary objective of ACG is for students to achieve academically and be well prepared for subsequent university success. Student achievement is monitored by examinations set by ACG staff and moderated by The University of Auckland personnel. ACG NZIC is pleased with the results achieved by its students and with anecdotal reports of on-going student success at university. The principal and senior managers could consider expanding the annual reporting of overall student achievement to include such aspects as evaluations of the extent to which the goals for student achievement are met over time and the extent to which students succeed at university.

ACGT NZIC has a high commitment to assisting and challenging international students to achieve their potential. The learning programmes are well designed and have a strong focus on meeting the diverse English language needs of the students. Students making insufficient academic progress are well supported. Class sizes allow them to receive individual help. Extra coaching and tuition are also available. Student work completion and progress is closely monitored.

The pastoral care of students is a strong feature of ACG NZIC. The college emphasises the importance of students being happy in both their classes and homes so that they progress well academically. Student attendance is closely monitored. The deans and group tutors provide individualised academic and social support for students and promote their personal well being. Students are encouraged to become independent and self-reliant so they succeed at university.

Teachers provide supportive classroom environments in which students are well taught. They use a variety of strategies to help students to improve their oral and written English language skills. Good use is made of interactive teaching methods that encourage students to ask questions and to share their understanding of new vocabulary and concepts. Students are given helpful workbooks, additional written material as well as textbooks to help them acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for academic success.

The effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is a feature of the college. Teachers make good use of ICT to facilitate teaching and learning and to provide high quality learning resources. They continue to extend their ICT skills as they adopt new software programmes to teach their subjects and use ICT for administrative purposes.

ACG NZIC has good systems to manage and promote teacher performance. The college employs well qualified, registered teachers from diverse cultural backgrounds. New teachers are provided with an appropriate induction and orientation programme. The comprehensive appraisal system sets clear expectations and includes feedback from students. It affirms good teaching practice and promotes on-going professional growth and development. The professional development programme focuses on teaching practices for teaching students from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The principal and senior managers provide effective leadership. They convey an infectious enthusiasm for high quality teaching and academic success. They promote collegiality amongst the staff and model a high commitment to providing a specialist service to international students that enables them to move on to further study.

ACG NZIC provides equipment that enhances student learning. Staff and students have ready access to computers. Furnishings are comfortable and attractive. Specialist equipment supports teaching and learning, especially in areas such as physics, biology and design. The library at the Parnell campus is spacious and well lit. Consideration could be given to providing reading material in the students' home languages.

At the beginning of 2007, ACG NZIC moved to attractively modernised premises in Parnell. These premises are also used by ACG Parnell College. In addition to the well-appointed classrooms and specialist rooms, these premises include appealing workspaces for staff and the large student cafeteria and adjacent veranda. There has also been significant development in the provision of premises for the ACG English School in Auckland's central business district. The ACG own and occupy most of the building and as a result have improved the property so that it is a safe and functional environment for staff and students.

The Education Act 1989 requires private schools to provide 'suitably for the inculcation in the minds of students sentiments of patriotism and loyalty'. Accordingly ACG New Zealand International College requires students to respect the laws of New Zealand, includes the national anthem at official functions and provides opportunities for students to visit areas outside of central Auckland and to learn more about New Zealand. In addition to this provision, teachers include New Zealand contexts in their learning programmes and help students to understand and adapt to living in New Zealand.

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