Further investment to move NCEA exams online

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

Two-thirds of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exams can now be delivered digitally as the Government boosts funding for the NCEA online programme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

“The response to COVID-19 has seen schools turn to online teaching and learning, supported by the Government’s distance learning programme which has expanded access to digital devices and connections to households that need them,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The opportunity for students to gain NCEA qualifications through online assessments builds on this and is another step towards delivering a more modern and resilient education system.

“We’ve seen an increase in uptake of online exams over the past two years as teachers and students become more comfortable with the option. A recent student experience evaluation of NCEA online showed that 97% of those surveyed found the digital exam was a positive experience.”

For this year’s NCEA students, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is on track to offer 58 NCEA digital exams across 21 subjects, at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. This represents approximately two-thirds of NCEA examinations and is a significant increase from the 35 examinations successfully offered in 2019.

Last year, almost 200 schools participated in NCEA online, with more than one in 10 students at those schools sitting one or more exams digitally. 

“The $38.7 million investment enables NCEA online to continue to grow, as digital learning becomes more accessible and popular,” Chris Hipkins said.

Over the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years, NZQA will spend approximately $14.5 million each year on enhancing and delivering NCEA online. An additional $4.8 million annually will allow NCEA online to continue operating in the future.