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Committee on University Student Pastoral Care (CUSPaC)

About the committee

The Minister of Education has appointed the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as the Code Administrator for the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. NZQA has delegated to the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee (NZVCC) partial responsibility for monitoring compliance with the Code, a role that is carried out through a formal NZVCC delegation to a subcommittee — the Committee on University Student Pastoral Care (CUSPaC).

Under this delegation, CUSPaC is tasked with monitoring the extent to which the pastoral care systems of universities comply with the Code. CUSPaC also fosters the sharing of best practice and opportunities for improvement to encourage consistent high standards of pastoral care across the university sector.

What we do

To perform as Code monitor, CUSPaC uses quality assurance methods to formulate reliable evidence-based assessments about the performance and capabilities of each university’s pastoral care system. It does this by supporting universities to undertake annual self-reviews, which are then evaluated by CUSPaC to ensure the university sector is Code compliant. CUSPaC can also make recommendations to help universities develop and operationalise policies or processes contributing to improved pastoral care outcomes for students.

Importantly, CUSPaC's membership of student association representatives and nominated university representatives supports the committee in ensuring that the voices of diverse student communities are foundational to the self-review and assessment process, and that improving responses to critical pastoral care issues such as the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of students, and the prevention of sexual harm on campuses, are strategic imperatives for the committee and university sector.

Frequency of meetings

CUSPaC meets four times a year to monitor annual self-review processes and coordinate projects supporting best practice approaches to pastoral care. It works in partnership with the Directors of Student Services Committee, other university representatives, NZQA, the Ministry of Education and other peak bodies supporting the health and wellbeing of university students.

Other information

The Code, a guide to implementing it, and other NZQA resources:

NZQA videos outlining what support tertiary students can expect for their wellbeing and safety:

To learn more about the student associations represented on CUSPaC:

New Zealand International Students’ Association:

Te Mana Ākonga, National Māori Tertiary Students' Association:

New Zealand Union of Students' Associations:

Key UNZ contact

Dr John Dance, CUSPaC Portfolio Manager,

Committee members

Ian Town (Chair)

Mike Calvert, University of Waikato

Dr Hamish Cochrane, Lincoln University

Ralph Zambrano, New Zealand Union of Students' Associations

Amy Heise, Massey University

Kirsty McClure, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington

Brendan Mosely, University of Auckland

Harris Devon, Te Mana Ākonga, National Māori Tertiary Students' Association

Sean Teow, New Zealand International Students' Association

Tara Shephed, National Disabled Students' Association

Joanna Scarbrough, AUT

Gilbert Taurau, University of Canterbury

Riki Weish, Komiti Pasifica

Clare Gallop, University of Otago

Keegan Wells, University of Otago