English Language Competency

1. Both English and Te Reo Māori are recognised as official languages in New Zealand. Tuition, examination and assessment at Massey University is normally in the English language, although students may be required to write or speak Te Reo Māori or foreign languages in some courses. Procedures also exist for those students who wish to submit written work or examinations in Te Reo Māori.

2. It is expected that on entry to Massey University all students will be able to:

(a) write grammatically correct English. Students must be able to develop ideas and to express themselves in well-structured, accurate and extended written English. Typically essays or reports of about 1,000 words are expected of first-year students. Even in courses where mathematical and scientific symbols are the main means of expression, the ability to write clear, accurate English is still needed. Most assignments and examinations use essays and reports as the main type of written work.

(b) read English actively and with understanding. Students must be able to find relevant information, without special guidance, to follow the structure of a narrative, and to comprehend and analyse a line of argument.

(c) listen to and discern key points in English. Students must be able to follow complex and technical discussion in both formal lectures and informal groups.

(d) speak freely and clearly in English. Students will be expected to contribute actively to discussion and to present ideas in classes.

3. The University does not accept responsibility for academic failure that is attributable to a student's lack of competence in English. Students whose prior education was not in English are advised to take 192.101 English for Academic Purposes for Speakers of Other Languages in their first year at Massey to improve their preparedness to study at university level.

4. International students - all international students whose first language is not English will be required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in English, in the form of an Academic IELTS or TOEFL score, an equivalent recognised English language test, or other such evidence that is acceptable to Academic Board. The required IELTS and TOEFL scores are as follows:

(a) IELTS - Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 for undergraduate programmes with no band less than 5.5, and 6.5 for postgraduate programmes with no band less than 6.0.

The Massey University centre for Professional and Continuing Education is a registered IELTS testing centre. Results are usually available two weeks after candidates have sat a test.

(b) TOEFL - (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign language) score of 550 paper-based test (213 computer-based test or 80 internet-based test) for undergraduate students and 575 paper-based test (232 computer-based test or 90 internet-based test) for postgraduate students. An additional TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4 (Essay Rating 4.0 or Writing 19 for undergraduate students, 20 for postgraduate students) is required. TOEFL tests listening comprehension, knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension. TWE (Essay Rating or Writing) tests ability to write sustained English prose.

(c) Some programmes have higher English language entry requirements. Contact the International Office for details.

5. New Zealand school leavers - New Zealand students (including permanent residents) and international students must gain a university entrance qualification, which includes literacy and numeracy requirements, as set out by the NZQA.

6. Other students whose first language is not English, and who have not gained a New Zealand university entrance qualification, or an overseas entrance qualification in a country where the main language is English, will also be required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in English in the form of an academic IELTS or TOEFL score or other such evidence that is acceptable to the Academic Board.

7. English language competency requirements for foundation studies and pre-degree level programmes are available from the International Office.

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