27 October 2010

The UK Degree That Wasn't Recognized

Note: This is the first of a series of hidden blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. Though posted weekly, the original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming this process takes. At the end of each post, I will add in new details that I have learned since then.

[Originally written on 18/2/2010]

I studied a 3+0 degree programme at INTI College Malaysia (now known as INTI University College). The degree was awarded by Coventry University, UK. The whole idea of 3+0 programmes is that you can study locally, but obtain an overseas degree.

And that was indeed what I got - my degree sheet and transcript is from Coventry, not INTI.

However, New Zealand's immigration department is a little bit more fickle about that. In their list of exempted qualifications, my degree and Coventry University is listed, but they added a note "If the courses leading to the award of one the qualifications above were taken outside of the United Kingdom, please refer to the NZQA for assessment."


If you happen to need verification for your qualifications too, visit http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ or directly to http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/for-international/international/index.html (if they haven't changed their links).

It's a whopping NZ$730 for verifying, plus other misc. costs for courier and getting the required documents ready. Those who studied in local universities like USM have got it easy.

Though they promise the process will take 35 days if not delayed, it's not uncommon to hear people taking more than a year to get it completed. *fingers crossed*

[End of original post]

As it finally turned out, they indeed took 35 days to assess my qualifications. The key to getting it back in time is to prepare all the documentation in advance, especially the course structures. I had to email INTI and get their curriculum department to print out copies of my course structures and mail it over. The fee incurred will vary with your institution of learning.

It was quite nail biting to wait for the results because if it was assessed to be less than a degree I would not be able to use it in my visa application. When the assessor asks, "Why did you finish a 4 year degree course in 3 years?" there's always that tinge of doubt in the quality of our 3+0 educations. Luckily it turned out alright in the end, and it was assessed to be a Level 7 qualification in Information Technology.


William said...


Ultraman Jino said...

going new zealand huh?

[Jino] - A man's not a man unless he knows how to shoot

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