The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA), previously known as the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit, was established in 1993 by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee to carry out audits of the processes in universities which underpin academic quality.
AQA's governing Board is appointed by Universities New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee). AQA itself is operationally independent of Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara.
AQA is a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, INQAAHE, and adheres to its Guidelines of Good Practice in Quality Assurance. AQA is also a full member of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network.
Academic audits are carried out by panels of 4 -5 auditors. Auditors appointed to audit New Zealand universities are individuals who have been identified by AQA as meeting specific criteria pertaining to academic audit of a university. Auditors are most commonly senior academics or professionals experiences in quality assurance who have been trained as academic auditors either by AQA or by another quality assurance body. All New Zealand audit panels include at least one overseas auditor.
AQA is one of two bodies established to oversee the quality assurance of New Zealand universities. The Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) is charged with setting up and applying qualification and regulation approval, accreditation and programme moderation procedures across universities. To learn more about the work of CUAP and of AQA, have a look at this brochure, Academic Quality Assurance of New Zealand Universities, or read our Frequently Asked Questions (and answers).
AQA has itself been externally reviewed, in 1997, 2001 and 2009.