Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Domestic Students

The University of Canterbury is completely committed to supporting the wellbeing of our students, and takes practical action towards this goal with a range of policies, processes and support services designed to foster positive experiences and outcomes for all. For more information about student support services, please see here.

What is the Domestic Code?

The University of Canterbury is a signatory to two codes of practice for the pastoral care of students. One of the codes covers the pastoral care of domestic students while the other covers the pastoral care of international students (for more information about the international code specifically, please see here).

The purpose of the codes is to set out minimum standards of care and support that are expected of tertiary education providers. For example, the interim domestic code requires that:

  • students experience a physically safe and mutually supportive learning environment that responds to the needs of all students
  • students have adequate access to advice, information and services which help them to meet their basic needs
  • students are assisted by providers to manage their physical and mental health, and to access support when needed
  • students are assisted by providers to transition to tertiary study, progress and achieve in their studies, and to develop knowledge, skills and experience to prepare them for further work or study
  • students experience an inclusive learning environment where they are accepted and valued, respected, free from racism and discrimination, and connected with social and cultural  networks
  • the mana of students is upheld in their learning environment and their voices are heard and integrated in decisions around the planning and provision of student support services

There are a range of requirements set out in the interim domestic code relating to accommodation as well. For the full text of the Interim Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Domestic Students 2019 in English or Te Reo Māori, follow this link to the NZQA website.

How are the Codes implemented at the University of Canterbury?

UC has a wide range of support services for students and provides regular communications to students about areas and services covered by the Codes. The University has discussed with the UCSA Executive and student representatives how it will implement the Codes and the nature and level of support services. The University also works closely with Halls of Residence providers to ensure that code requirements are implemented in student accommodation.

The University completes an annual self-review that assesses whether it is meeting the expectations of the codes of practice, and identifies improvements to be made ahead of the next review cycle. This process is overseen by a Governance Group that includes senior staff members from the University and student representatives from the UCSA and Te Akatoki to ensure that the Student Voice is strongly represented.

What do I do if I have a concern?

If you have concerns about your experience at the university, the first thing you should do is contact Student CareUCSA, or the University Grievance Coordinator to discuss your concerns and your options. For more information on the University's formal complaints process, please see the How to Raise a Concern page.

If you do this and you find your concerns are not resolved, you can pursue an external complaint through the NZQA. The NZQA can provide an independent assessment of your complaint and will either investigate your concerns or advise you what you can do next.

You can submit a complaint query on the NZQA website, or send an email to For more information, please contact the NZQA on 0800 697 296.