Debate about the inclusion of university degrees on the national qualifications framework is not over yet, Bruce Ross, the new chairman of the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee, has warned.
Professor Ross, who is vice chancellor of Lincoln University, said that neither the committee nor university councils had fully discussed the recommendations of the tertiary lead group, which published its report on the framework last year.
The representative group, set up by Lockwood Smith, the education minister, to find a way past fears that university degrees would be devalued, has recommended all degrees and postgraduate qualifications should be registered on the framework. It provided reassurances that such integration would not lead to fragmentation of degrees into small units of learning.
However, Professor Ross said the report made some controversial proposals including one to pass responsibility for approving degrees to a new, representative tertiary qualifications co-ordinating committee.
Universities want to ensure their degrees retain their international recognition for high standards, where top graduates were readily accepted by overseas institutions.