In recognition of the status of the Māori language as a tāonga protected under the Treaty of Waitangi, and within the spirit of the Māori Language Act 1987, the University of Waikato endorses the right of its students to use the Māori language in written work for assessment within the University.
In keeping with the above and in accordance with its Charter commitments the University seeks to have sufficient suitable staff employed or available throughout its Faculties, Schools of Studies and Departments to ensure that any work submitted in Māori would be assessed in that language by staff competent in the subject under examination and in the Māori language.
In the meantime, the use of the Māori language in assessment is subject to conditions set out in this policy statement.
There are occasions when, due to the nature of the skills being tested, work submitted for assessment may be required to be in a particular language. In such cases that requirement shall be made explicit in writing, either in the relevant subject entry or prescription in the University of Waikato Calendar or in the paper outline distributed to candidates at the beginning of a paper.
Candidates who intend to present all or part of an examination or piece of internally assessed work in Māori are requested to give notice of their intention of doing so in writing to the Head of Student and Academic Services. This notice of intention is desirable to allow the University the time and opportunity to make proper arrangements for marking including, when necessary, translation and external assessment. If less than 14 days' notice is given, the material presented in Māori will still be accepted. The processing of it may, however, be delayed and the opportunity to have the script marked in the original language may be reduced.
Where a candidate who intends to present material in Māori has given the requested notice of intention, he or she will be informed as soon as reasonably possible, as to whether or not the assessment will be based on translation.
Potential for Delays
The University will do its best to make the results of an examination or item of internally assessed work presented in Māori available to the candidate within the ordinary time-frame. However the process of assessment in such cases, possibly including translation, may result in delays in the return of coursework or in the publication of results.
Māori-speaking Paper Examiners
The examination or internally assessed work will be assessed in Māori by the examiner for the paper if the examiner is considered by the Professor of Reo and Tikanga or his or her nominee to be linguistically competent to do so.
If the examiner of the relevant paper is not competent to assess in Māori, a co-examiner, competent in both the subject under examination and in Māori, may be appointed to conduct the assessment of work presented in Māori in consultation with the examiner.
If no person is available in the circumstances to assess the work in Māori, a translator will be appointed by the Professor of Reo and Tikanga or nominee in agreement with the appropriate chief examiner. The translator will be asked not to correct errors in the original nor to make any embellishments; however, ambiguities may be pointed out to the examiner. Where necessary the examiner may seek clarification of the translation of the paper from the translator but contact between the student and the translator is prohibited, as is contact between the student and the examiner. The assessment will then be carried out by the examiner of the paper on the basis of the translation.
The University intends that resort to translation be made only when reasonable efforts to find an examiner capable of assessing the work in its original language have been exhausted.
In the process of appointing a translator, the University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the translator is competent in the relevant subject under examination, as well as in the Māori language.
If the internal assessment and/or examination script is to be subject to external assessment, the other institution undertaking the external assessment will be requested to indicate whether an external assessor is available to conduct the assessment in Māori. If not, a translation will be obtained for the purpose by the University according to the process explained in sections 10 and 11 of these regulations.
Return of Scripts
When any translation is relied upon in the assessment of an examination, a candidate making proper application for the return of a script shall also receive any translation made of the script. When assessed coursework is normally returned to the student, any translation used is likewise to be returned.
Appeals and Reconsiderations
An appeal against a decision regarding linguistic or subject competence made under the provisions of sections 8 and 11 of these regulations shall be to the appropriate Pro Vice-Chancellor whose decision shall be final.
The regulatory provisions for reconsideration of final grade together with the established appeal provisions will apply, with the addition that the Māori Language Commission is regarded by the Council as the final authority on the accuracy of a translation.
The details of this policy apply to written internally assessed work and to examinations. When oral work is assessable, the same principles should apply; however, practicalities may necessitate more restricted policy details, such as a requirement on the candidate to give longer notice or a limitation on the use of Māori where oral work involves interaction with other candidates.