Qualification completion rates

Qualification completion rates

Last updated 18 September 2017
Last updated 09/18/2017

‘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 2014 and complete it in 2016 but only 50 start the same qualification in 2016. This lower number of enrolments would result in a higher 2016 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 2014 and 2016. 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 1-2

Level 3-4

Level 5-6

Level 7-8

Level 9-10

2014

Rate

69% 

71% 

74% 

82% 

92% 

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

2016

Rate

65%

68%

71%

80%

89%

EFTS
delivered

11,374

47,602

23,050

124,283

14,424

Table 2: YG rate of successful completion of courses across all tertiary providers by level of qualification. (EFTS = equivalent full-time student) 

Year

 

Level 1-2

Level 3-4

2014

Rate

57%

69%

EFTS
delivered

7,061 

2,555 

2015

Rate

62%

71%

EFTS
delivered

6,722 

2,640 

2016

Rate

59%

69%

EFTS
delivered

6,227

2,678

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3: SAC rate of qualification completion by provider type. (EFTS = equivalent full-time student)

 Year

 

Universities 

 Institutes of
Technology and
Polytechnics

Wānanga 

 Private
Training
Establishments

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 

2016

 

Rate

80%

73%

71%

78%

EFTS
delivered

115,439

58,442

23,559

23,292

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Wānanga

Private 
Training
Establishments

 2014 

Rate 

65%

76%

57%

EFTS
delivered 

2,330 

586 

6,670 

 2015

Rate 

65%

77%

63%

EFTS
delivered

2,493 

583 

6,233 

 2016

Rate 

65%

62%

60%

EFTS
delivered

2,449

523

5,909

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