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  1. #1
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    Default NZ University Degrees

    Can anyone explain the NZ degree system. I see from the various university websites that they seem to take a BA first for 3 years then do a further year for BA(Hons).
    How do our UK degrees relate to this. If I have a UK BA for instance is that equivalent to their BA and is a UK BA(Hons) equivalent to theirs?
    I know I will need to contact the universities and ask them directly but we're only at the beginning of our EOI so its a bit early for that but it would be useful info for planning.
    The reason I'm asking is not for work but to take a further course at University. I want to study for an MA when we get to NZ as hopefully I will have finished by degree before we go.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The first three years of study are for a Bachelor - then an additional year of study for the Honours paper.
    If you have a UK degree you shouldn't have any problem with getting onto a Masters or post-grad course here.

  3. #3
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    Thanks that's good to know.

  4. #4
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    Default However the same can not be said...

    for comparing degrees in Australia and N. America where a university degree requires 4 years. This was the 1st distinction i've noticed when comparing my degree to my cousin's degree earned in NZ.

    You have to question where do you want to go or take this degree? The problem is for many different countries, the degrees don't hold the same amount of water. Actually 3 year degree in NZ won't hold any water in N. America as it falls short of a 4 year degree. This can be shown as when you try to enroll at universities there, the falculty will assess your NZ degree on course by courses basis. But whereas a degree earned in Canada will be taken as face value for enroling into universities in the US.

    I did a BCom degree in Canada which required about 40 courses to pass over 4 years (5 courses per bi-annual semester). The 3 year degree in NZ covers around 21 courses at most. It's not the same amount of water! For eg. an economics degree in NZ would have say 'introduction... intermediate... advanced" course titles in a text book. Each text book would cover 1 chapter say on "labour economics". While in Canada, for an economics degree you would take that 1 chapter (in NZ text book) as a WHOLE course being taught by a professor that was an expert in labour economics. So there's a huge generalisation in NZ degree courses - also tendacy to be more NZ content.

    Another discovery i've found is you can cross-count degrees into masters programs in NZ. For example, 1 of my cousins did a BSc degree and was able to do an MBA (Masters of BUSINESS ADMIN) at another univeristy. How can this be so? Another cousin of mine did a BCom in Accounting & Law within 5 years at Cantabury Uni

    I know in Canada there's no way a person can do an MBA (masters business admin) program without having a background education in that area. Similarly, if you want to go to law or medical school in N. America, you really need to achieve your undergrad (4 year degree 1st). Then try and get accepted at law or medical school - where then you learn that stuff.

    But what we have here in NZ is graduates that can become a medical doctor or a lawyer all combined within a short 5 year period. 2 of my cousins were medical doctors at the age of 24 here.

    So if you're eyes set between NZ/UK you should have no problems. But if they go to N. America or Australia then you better do the extra year (Hons program). If you do some sort of combined Pyschology degree + Master of Bus. Admin and present that to some school in America.. I think you won't get much water in return.

    BQ

    Note that Australia recently changed to the 4 year degree system some years ago.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super_BQ View Post
    Another discovery i've found is you can cross-count degrees into masters programs in NZ. For example, 1 of my cousins did a BSc degree and was able to do an MBA (Masters of BUSINESS ADMIN) at another univeristy. How can this be so?
    I know in Canada there's no way a person can do an MBA (masters business admin) program without having a background education in that area. Similarly, if you want to go to law or medical school in N. America, you really need to achieve your undergrad (4 year degree 1st). Then try and get accepted at law or medical school - where then you learn that stuff.

    So if you're eyes set between NZ/UK you should have no problems. But if they go to N. America or Australia then you better do the extra year (Hons program). If you do some sort of combined Pyschology degree + Master of Bus. Admin and present that to some school in America.. I think you won't get much water in return.

    Note that Australia recently changed to the 4 year degree system some years ago.
    A MBA is very different to a normal masters degree. It is usually undertaken by people in business who wish to increase their strategic knowledge and integrate knowledge of the functional areas of business into the overall management process, as well as increasing their decision-making and leadership abilities.

    Most MBA programmes require a certain period of time working within business - it is not a course to be taken directly after a Bachelors degree. In Canada you can most certainly do an MBA after any type of degree - although there are no Canadian institutions in the top ten programme providers.
    http://media.ft.com/cms/9753d360-a6e...00779e2340.pdf


    Australia has a 4 year degree programme as they altered their schooling to complete at Year 11 rather than Year 12 as is normal across most of the world. The first year of an Australian degree is generally a broad and basic education in the subject being studied, rather than an in-depth degree programme of study.

    Your post is not very well researched or evidenced. Do you have a lot of experience of HE in NZ? (Or anywhere else?)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerryS View Post
    there are no Canadian institutions in the top ten programme providers.
    http://media.ft.com/cms/9753d360-a6e...00779e2340.pdf
    You will be able to find another study that will place Canadian schools as just as good for MBA as any other in the world with equal ease. They are not authoritative documents that one can take to the bank. The education system here is rather well developed and does not necessarily need studies to throw holy water on'em.

    But what we have here in NZ is graduates that can become a medical doctor or a lawyer all combined within a short 5 year period. 2 of my cousins were medical doctors at the age of 24 here.
    That is interesting. My wife got into med school in first attempt but there were folks trying it for more than two years (very difficult to get in) and it certainly takes years to complete the degree. Even more so if you are a specialist.

    Regards
    Last edited by stu70; 12th March 2007 at 04:42 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu70 View Post
    You will be able to find another study that will place Canadian schools as just as good for MBA as any other in the world with equal ease. They are not authoritative documents that one can take to the bank. The education system here is rather well developed and does not necessarily need studies to throw holy water on'em.
    I was talking purely about the recognition of MBA provision on the world platform. The study I provided was just one of thousands (although is generally regarded as the most reliable by those in business education), and not one mentions Canada in the top ten. I'd like to see one that does if you could post it - my PhD is in comparative education, so it would be very informative for me to read.
    I don't for one moment doubt the development of the Canadian education system, but it is not a world class provider for MBA studies. The top performing Canadian school is Toronto.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super_BQ View Post
    for comparing degrees in Australia and N. America where a university degree requires 4 years. This was the 1st distinction i've noticed when comparing my degree to my cousin's degree earned in NZ.
    Although I argree with most of what BQ stated, the 4 year university degree has only been made mandatory in Ontario with the removal of OAC (Grade 13 / Form 7) from high school in 2002.

    The 4th year of my bachelor's degree in science (mathematics) gave it the honours distinction and was an optional year. The NZQA did not see the extra year as an honours distinction as it assumes that every Canadian province has/had the same standards. I will unfortunately lose this qualification in our move as my degree was assessed as not having an honours equivalent in New Zealand.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  9. #9
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    While most degrees in NZ 20 years ago were 3 year programmes this is not the case today, with most specialist degrees being 4 years and in some cases even longer.
    Some universities do confer an Honours to qualifying undergrad students who complete an extra year of advanced study, (this is commonly for 3 year degree programmes) other universities invite 4th year students to complete their study with advanced courses to qualify for an Honours. These programmes are usually still 4 year programmes though some may require an additional term of study.

    Comparing the number of courses within a degree does not prove anything other than one programme requires more courses than another. What one university can cover in 3 courses another institute could cover in less than 2 courses, so the number of courses you do in a degree is no measure of the depth and content of the programme of study. And as you would know the key purpose of degree programmes is not related to the specific course content.

    NZ Law degrees are 4 year programmes with restricted entry and higher standards for entry. Combining Law & Commerce is a popular and natural combination as few people in business avoid the need for legal knowledge and not surprisingly commerce courses by default include many law courses, (my business degree included 4 law courses).
    GP training programmes containing a core 5 year programme followed by vocationally focused training for at least an additional 2 years is also not something that is restricted to NZ.

    The level of writing skills of students is an issue that has been around since the Ď80ís if not before, and extends far beyond NZ. I have had this discussion with academics in NZ, Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. I can assure you NZs current focus on competence has in no way led to a reduction in the level of Literacy. Competency based assessment is a system used extensively around the world, including North America.

    NZís tertiary system was not developed in isolation and our graduates have also succeeded both academically and professionally within NZ and overseas (including North America).

    BQ, it would be helpful if you could make a clearer distinction between facts and personal opinions in your posts.


    Regards

    Shawn

  10. #10
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    BQ, it would be helpful if you could make a clearer distinction between facts and personal opinions in your posts.
    Absolute #s here. Does 3 years = 4 years or people studying a 4 year degree program less intelligent?

    Comparing the number of courses within a degree does not prove anything other than one programme requires more courses than another. What one university can cover in 3 courses another institute could cover in less than 2 courses, so the number of courses you do in a degree is no measure of the depth and content of the programme of study.
    I've compared it. I've looked at a local NZ uni course calendar and made comparisons. The extra 4th year meant I had professors that were experts in that area of their teaching. As mentioned before, a full book on ie. labour economics would only be covered as a chapter in a generalised course my cousin took (and how long does it take for a professor to cover a chapter in a text book? (1 or 2 weeks of class?).

    Universities in NZ need to change with time. One can not assume that every subject has a fixed amount of learning (some exceptions like Mathmatics and Physics don't change much). But in the area of say science, there will always be MORE discoveries and thus, more information that gets crammed into the text book. Watering it down is one way to keep the text book within size (and within a 3 year teaching) but is this good?

    I think you're trying to get that at the 'end result' a degree here is the same as a degree earned anywhere. But in the real world that is not true because we all know that not all cars are made the same and not all employers pay the same pay for the same degree at any university.

    from Mark's post:

    I will unfortunately lose this qualification in our move as my degree was assessed as not having an honours equivalent in New Zealand.
    yes it works both ways. But if you were to apply to a university in the US, you'll find your degree will be taken as face value.

    BQ

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