The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students

When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, it is important that those students are well informed, safe and properly cared for.  New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students’ welfare.  

The Code of Practice is a document providing a framework for service delivery by educational providers and their agents to international students.  The Code sets out the minimum standards of advice and care that are expected of educational providers with respect to international students.  The Code applies to pastoral care and provision of information only, and not to academic standards. 

The Code applies to all education providers in New Zealand with students enrolled on an international study visa.  The Code is mandatory to these providers and must be signed by them. We encourage you to read the Code, or you can request a copy from your New Zealand educational provider. The Code is also available on the NZQA website in several languages. If you have further questions about the Code you can email:

The Code sets standards for educational providers to ensure that:

  • High professional standards are maintained
  • The recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
  • Information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date
  • Students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments
  • Contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
  • The particular needs of the international students are recognised
  • International students under the age of 18 are in safe accommodation
  • All providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances

How do I know if an educational provider has signed the Code?

The New Zealand Ministry of Education will maintain a registrar of all signatories to the Code. If the educational provider that you are seeking to enrol with is not a signatory to the Code, you will not be granted a student visa from the New Zealand Immigration Service and you will not be able to study at that institution.

How do I contact the New Zealand Qualification Authority 

Contact by post of via the NZQA Call Centre is open Monday – Friday, 8.00 am – 5.00 pm NZST

Telephone: international:  +64 (4) 463 3000

free phone in NZ: 0800 697 296

Fax: +64 (4) 463 3112
Postal address: PO Box 160

Wellington 6140

New Zealand

A copy of the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme may be accessed here via the New Zealand Department of Education Website.

Quality Assurance

Wellesley College is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

Right Steps to make a Complaint: refer to this document maid available via the NZQA Website

First, ask your school to resolve your complaint (this could be about the homestay, something at school, finances, or your agent, or something else).  Speak to the International Department Coordinator for the steps to be taken. People to talk to with school matters are in order:

  1. Teacher
  2. Syndicate Leader
  3. Mr Girvan
  4. Mr Pitman

Once written submissions are discussed and if the complaint cannot be resolved, then there are further steps that can be taken.

If your complaint cannot be solved by the school process, then you could contact the NZQA. NZQA is a government organisation and can provide an independent assessment and will either investigate your concerns or give advice. Complaints can be submitted on the NZQA website or emailed to If information is needed on the complaints process you could contact 0800697296

If it is a financial dispute, you can contact iStudent Complaints and this service does not incur a cost. This is an independent service experienced at helping people with disputes and contactable on 0800006675