The fate of 70 international students is uncertain after NZQA today revealed they won't be able to continue studying the course they enrolled in because they failed a reassessment.
The students had been studying at Auckland's International Academy of New Zealand (IANZ) until it closed earlier this year when Newshub reported staff at the institute had falsified students' English language test results.
IANZ was investigated by NZQA then bought by tertiary college EDENZ.
Nearly 330 Level 6 students were retested. Just 46 former IANZ students passed the reassessment and are now studying at EDENZ, while 213 others had "borderline" results.
In a statement released today, NZQA's deputy chief executive Dr Grant Klinkum said the 70 students who fell well short of passing would not be accepted into the EDENZ course.
"NZQA cannot allow these students to continue studying towards a qualification that they would be unlikely to succeed in."
Instead of completing the Level 6 qualification at EDENZ, the failed students would have to sit an international English language test to determine what other courses they could enrol in, Klinkum said.
"We are continuing to work with these students and are encouraging them to think carefully about their options."
Klinkum added that NZQA would work with EDENZ and Immigration New Zealand to help stressed students who failed, directing them to support services "including local ethnic community groups and confidential counselling services".
Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG) co-ordinator Dennis Maga feared the failed students would be deported.
"There's no clarity about what will happen to them", Maga said.
However a spokeswoman for NZQA stressed there had been "no talk of deportation whatsover".
Maga said it was IANZ, not the students, who should have been punished.
"It's not the students' fault that they were sold false promises. The actions of IANZ - they put students at risk. We believe that they have actually misled the students."
While the 70 failed students were in limbo, 213 others had been offered a second chance.
An NZQA spokeswoman told Herald 213 of the 329 students who were reassessed had "borderline" results and would be allowed to complete their qualification at EDENZ if they were able to catch up.
Klinkum said NZQA would provide these students with "some additional assistance...at no additional cost" to help them improve.
However, some of the credits students previously passed at IANZ would be removed from their records if they could not be verified, he said.
In its statement, NZQA said it was investigating the former IANZ directors.
However, Maga said the sanctions the authority brought against IANZ were insufficient.
The union wanted NZQA to prosecute IANZ to "make a strong statement" to other institutes, he said.
"We would like to see some licensing of education agents offshore."