NAS World Assurance Agency Rankings® by Location - Asia Pacific = 8

Academic Quality Agency

Level 9 142 Lambton Quay Wellington 6011

+64 04 801 7925


The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA), previously known as the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit, was established in 1993 by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee to carry out audits of the processes in universities which underpin academic quality.

AQA’s governing Board is appointed by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. AQA is operationally independent of Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. The purpose and terms of reference of AQA are set out in its Constitution and encompass both academic quality assurance and academic quality enhancement.

AQA is one of two bodies established to oversee the quality assurance of New Zealand universities. The Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) is charged with setting up and applying qualification and regulation approval, accreditation and programme moderation procedures across universities. Further information about the work of CUAP and AQA can be found in the Academic Quality Assurance of New Zealand Universities brochure.

AQA is subject to regular external review and was reviewed in 199720012009 and 2015. The June 2015 report and AQA’s one-year follow up report on response to recommendations can be found here.

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AQA is a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, INQAAHE, and adheres to its Guidelines of Good Practice in Quality Assurance.

AQA is also a full member of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network. AQA has strong relationships with a number of peer international agencies and has signed memoranda with the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association (2013), the University of the South Pacific (re-signed 2013), National University of Samoa (2014), and the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (2015).

From time-to-time, AQA undertakes audits or reviews of international institutions. AQA has audited the University of the South Pacific (2013) and the National University of Samoa (2015) and conducted a programme review for Macao Polytechnic Institute (2016).

In 2013 AQA was awarded the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) inaugural Quality Award for Stakeholder Engagement. APQN Quality Awards are determined by an international panel with a focus on identifying and distinguishing extraordinary quality assurance contribution and good practices that have the potential of replication across the APQN network.

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Quality enhancement is part of AQA’s purpose and being enhancement-led is an underpinning principle of quality assurance.

AQA’s quality enhancement activities include:
– audit processes that encourage universities to identify their own enhancement initiative.
– making enhancement-oriented recommendations in audit reports.
– requiring follow-up reports from universities of their progress in addressing recommendations.
– support for the Cycle 6 universities’ enhancement theme.
– communications – including this website and AQA newsletters.
– events that encourage the development and sharing of good practice in academic quality and upcoming events.

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