Qualification completion rates

Qualification completion rates

Last updated 3 November 2016
Last updated 11/03/2016

‘Qualification completion’ is one of the indicators we use to measure the performance of tertiary education organisations (TEOs). This page includes performance data by year and provider type using the 'qualification completion' indicator.

What the indicator shows

The ‘qualification completion’ indicator shows the proportion of students that complete a qualification in a given year. It demonstrates how successful TEOs are in helping their students to complete qualifications. It also gives a good indication of longer-term educational performance, as many qualifications will take several years for students to complete.

Qualification vs course

Students who complete a qualification tend to earn significantly more than those who complete a number of courses instead. However, some students will enrol at a TEO to acquire certain skills, rather than completing a full qualification.

In general, the proportion of those completing a qualification will be lower than the proportion completing a single course.

Factors affecting completion rates

The qualification completion rate can be affected by factors that do not reflect the performance of a TEO, such as:

  • embedded qualifications (ie, where students are awarded a qualification or qualifications as part of completing a larger qualification)
  • changes in enrolments across years, particularly when there is a change in enrolments in qualifications that typically take more than one year to complete. For example, a group of 100 students start a three-year qualification in 2013 and complete it in 2015 but only 50 start the same qualification in 2015. This lower number of enrolments would result in a higher 2014 qualification completion rate. Conversely, if there is an increase in a TEO's enrolments at levels 7–8, this would result in a decrease in the qualification completion rate even if the TEO's performance has stayed the same.
  • qualifications with strands. These are qualifications that allow a student to specialise in a particular area of a subject. Sometimes these strands can have different credit values, and this can affect the qualification completion rate.

These factors, as well as the calculation methods used, mean that a high course completion rate does not automatically translate into a high qualification completion rate.

Overall performance

The following tables show the qualification completion rate by level of qualification between 2012 and 2015. The rates are for Student Achievement Component (SAC) and Youth Guarantee(YG) funded students.

 

Table 1: SAC rate of qualification completion across all tertiary providers by level of qualification.
(EFTS = equivalent full-time student)
Year Level 1-2Level 3-4Level 5-6Level 7-8Level 9-10
2012  Rate 68%  69%  72%  80%  89% 
EFTS
delivered
17,303 51,300  26,587  129,469  12,666
2013 Rate 72%  73%  72%  81%  93% 
EFTS
delivered
15,514 51,097  25,266  127,708  12,743
2014 Rate 69%  71%  74%  82%  9% 
EFTS
delivered
13,444  49,914  24,303  126,583  13,424
2015 Rate 70% 70%  69%  80%  93% 
EFTS
delivered
47,863  47,863  23,437  124,330  13,949

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Table 2: YG rate of successful completion of courses across all tertiary providers by level of qualification. (EFTS = equivalent full-time student)
 
Year Level 1-2Level 3-4
2013 Rate 47% 67%
EFTS
delivered
5,522 2,018 
2014 Rate 57% 69%
EFTS
delivered
7,061  2,555 
2015 Rate 62% 71%
EFTS
delivered
6,722  2,640 

 

  

Table 3: SAC rate of qualification completion provider type. (EFTS = equivalent full-time student)
 Year Universities  Institutes of
Technology and
Polytechnics
Wānanga  Private
Training
Establishments
2012 Rate 80% 70% 68% 83% 
  EFTS
delivered
118.490 66,886  24,553  27,441 
2013 Rate 81% 73% 78% 79%
  EFTS
delivered
116,660  63,088  24,702  27,889 
2014

Rate

81% 73% 72% 83%
  EFTS
delivered
115,769  61,194  23,945  26,767 
2015 Rate  80% 74% 71% 77%
  EFTS
delivered
114,953  59,715  22,499  24,664 

 

  

Table 4: YG rate of successful completion of courses in each sub-sector by provider type.
(EFTS = equivalent full-time student)
 Year Institutes of
Technology and
Polytechnics
WānangaPrivate 
Training
Establishments
2013  Rate 60% 62% 49%
EFTS
delived
1.983  318  5,196 
 2014  Rate  65% 76% 57%
EFTS
delivered 
2,330  586  6,670 
 2015 Rate  65% 77% 63%
EFTS
delivered
2,493  583  6,233 

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