Waikato University says Tertiary Education Commission data released today can only be seen as indicative of student performance.
Because of the methodologies used, and the large number of factors that can impact on these sorts of measures, care needs to be taken in the way they are interpreted, the university says.
According to the Educational Performance Indicators for the tertiary sector, Waikato University is ranked third out of eight universities in qualification completions and progression, fourth in successful course completions and sixth in retention. The university had 11,277 Ministry-funded students in 2009.
In 2009 at Waikato, 84% of courses were passed; 73% of students completed their qualification; 83% progressed to higher level study having completed a pre-degree qualification; and 81% were retained in study, that is, they either completed a qualification or re-enrolled in the following year.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says that the performance indicators are broad, and don’t take into account the many factors that influence the data such as part-time enrolments, student ethnicity, structures of qualifications and shifts in intake size.
Universities New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee) says the results show that universities are delivering value for money, but the organisation warns against using them as league tables because the information is so broad. The organisation says universities’ annual reports provide more detailed information that is useful for potential students.