National Report Summary - Schools' provision for international students

International students are socially and economically important to New Zealand. They enrich our cultural diversity and provide a source of revenue.

School’s Provision for International Students is ERO’s seventh report about international students. This evaluation included 95 schools (both primary and secondary) and focused on five aspects in relation to international students – integration, progress and achievement, education programme, pastoral care, overall approach and self review.

ERO found that most schools provided effectively for their international students. More than half the schools (56 percent) were considered highly or mostly effective on all five aspects. A further 19 percent were highly effective on four aspects.

As in ERO’s previous evaluations of provision for international students, self review was the least effective aspect. Thirty-six percent of the schools reviewed had either partially or limited effective self review.

The report provides examples of highly effective practice, as well as identifying areas of concern. In doing so, the report highlights the implications of limited self review on the school’s legal obligations under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Highly effective self review

  • is ongoing, robust, and comprehensive
  • covers welfare, progress, integration and programmes provided
  • is based on a range of information
  • includes surveys or interviews students, parents, teachers, and homestay parents
  • monitors compliance with the Code
  • leads to changes to provision where appropriate.


The school has robust self-review processes that encourage review and reflection including regular annual reporting to the board. The report to the board is structured like department reports and is part of the well-developed, school-wide, self-review programme. The director conducts quarterly surveys of students along with meetings and interviews. Feedback is received from agencies, parents and teachers, and homestay procedures are regularly reviewed. There is a comprehensive self-review document that they have completed to monitor compliance with the Code. The director says: ‘I have not consciously linked my Strategic Plan and Report to my Code review, but I am now thinking this would be good to look at doing this year.’ [Large, medium decile Years 9-15 secondary school in a secondary urban area]

Self-review questions and indicators of good practice for schools*

How effectively is the school reviewing its provision and outcomes for international students?

  • We review our performance annually and record the outcomes
  • Our review process is ongoing and is based on analysis of a range of information about students’ welfare, academic progress, and social integration.
  • We use our self-review findings to inform decisions and take action on our reviews where appropriate.

How systematic is the school’s overall approach to enrolling international students?

  • We have a rationale and objectives for enrolling international students.
  • We have developed and documented effective systems for providing for international students.
  • We have documented how we will provide for students’ welfare, academic progress and social integration and the intended outcomes.

How effectively does the school provide pastoral care for international students?

  • Our international students are welcomed and given effective orientation advice.
  • Our international students receive appropriate support services from a person or persons designated with the pastoral care responsibility for international students.
  • Our international students’ accommodation and pastoral needs are regularly monitored and met.

How effectively does the education programme respond to the aspirations, interest and needs of international students or their parents?

  • We have gathered information from students and/or their families about their aspirations for their time in New Zealand, and set appropriate challenging goals.
  • Our international students are accurately assessed on entry, and placed in appropriate courses and classes.
  • Our international students are regularly assessed and receive useful feedback about their progress across the curriculum.

How well do international students make progress and achieve?

  • Our students make good progress in their learning of English.
  • Our international students make expected rates of progress in academic studies, and achieve their learning goals

How effectively does the school integrate international students into the school and local community?

  • Our teachers facilitate interactions between international and domestic students in the classroom.
  • Our international students are involved in school activities, including EOTC
  • We provide opportunities for our international students to share aspects of their own cultural backgrounds with other students at the school.

*More questions and indicators are available in the full report.