Given the recent radical overhaul of secondary school qualifications in New Zealand, similar in style to those in the UK, there has been a distinct change in the tertiary entrant profile. In order to gain insight into this new situation that university institutions are faced with, we investigate some of the ways in which these recent changes have impacted upon tertiary level mathematics in New Zealand. To this end, we analyse the relationship between the final secondary school qualifications in Mathematics with calculus of incoming students and their results in the core first-year mathematics papers at Canterbury since 2005, when students entered the University of Canterbury with these new reformed school qualifications for the first time. These findings are used to investigate the suitability of this new qualification as a preparation for tertiary mathematics and to revise and update entrance recommendations for students wishing to succeed in their first-year mathematics study.
Alex James, Clemency Montelle and Phillipa Williams have written an article that was recently published online in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. The article is entitled From lessons to lectures: NCEA mathematics results and first-year mathematics performance, and here is the abstract: