Education New Zealand with Go To New Zealand - Education in New Zealand

New Zealand has an international reputation as a provider of quality education. It has a progressive education system with many state of the art facilities. It offers a safe learning environment with excellent study opportunities and support services for international students.

Courses are available for academic, professional and vocational studies at New Zealand institutions - universities, polytechnics and institutes of technology, colleges of education, secondary schools and private training establishments.

New Zealand produces top graduates who can take their place with confidence in the international arena in many disciplines. Sir Ernest Rutherford, who first split the atom, and Dr Bryan Barrett-Boyes, prominent international heart surgeon, are but two examples of the calibre of New Zealand graduates.

English is the prime language of instruction in teaching and discussion and this enables New Zealand qualifications to be recognized in English-speaking countries like the United States and Australia.

Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary education
Most school-age children start primary education at the age of 5 and then move on to secondary education from 13 to 17 or 18. Most New Zealand schools are state-run and the qualifications are nationally recognized.

There are eight national universities in New Zealand that offer undergraduate and postgraduate studies to international students.

Technical institutes and Polytechnics
There are 20 such institutes and they offer courses as diverse as agriculture and engineering.

Colleges of Education
These colleges in New Zealand provide special teacher training courses for eligible students.

Distance Education
This is a very popular option for international students to study in New Zealand and the standards are very high.

Choosing an institution
International students should choose their course wisely and keep in mind their future career preferences and personal expectations.

Education New Zealand - Education in New Zealand

The sectors of Education in New Zealand

Education in New Zealand comprises of early childhood learning, primary and secondary schooling, college, and university education.

The New Zealand degrees and certificates are recognized globally. Thousands of international students come over to New Zealand each year to study abroad and make a smooth career move. 

Primary schooling starts at the age of 5 while secondary schooling begins from the age of 13. Students after studying for 5 more years move on to tertiary education in colleges or universities to study further. The school students must appear for the a test to qualify for an internationally recognized certification, New Zealand secondary school certificate or the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).  

There are 8 national universities in the country that offer undergraduate and post-graduate courses. There are 20 recognized technical institutes and polytechnics that offer skilled curriculum and vocational training. Higher education offered in colleges, polytechnics, or universities has 10 levels of study. Level 1 starts with a certificate degree and Level 10 is equivalent to the doctoral degree. Students need to study courses of greater complexity and difficulty as they attend the successive levels. 

International students can study in New Zealand institutes provided they meet English language criteria and have the required academic qualification. The courses and degrees are internationally accredited. The Ministry of Education takes care of the standard as per the accepted norm in the international arena. The New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) keeps a tab on teaching and assessment quality. From time to time, audits are conducted to ensure, recognized educational institutes follow similar standards as expected at their level. 

Education System New Zealand

International students will receive quality education which is well-recognised and respected internationally.

International students will benefit from the education system that offers a high standard of living and tuition costs which are among the lowest in OECD countries. They will also experience a safe and stable democratic political environment.

The government regulates all education providers diligently in order to maintain the high education standards in New Zealand. International students therefore can be assured of a quality education from quality New Zealand institutions.

The New Zealand Education system provides quality education in custom design that addresses the unique abilities of each student and has a positive emotional experience. It evaluates natural talents and how the student learns. Here the international students gains the opportunity of adapting to the natural learning environment where project based education has fundamental roots.

Code of Practice and Pastoral Care for International Students

The Code of Practice for overseas students was issued to ensure that international students are treated in a safe and ethical manner while studying in New Zealand. It is a requirement for educational institutes to meet these standards if they are to take in students from abroad.

The Code of Practice makes sure that:

  1. Recruitment, finance and contract dealings with overseas students are done in an ethical and responsible manner
  2. There is a high professional standard kept
  3. Students receive information that is up-to-date, accurate and complete
  4. Students are properly informed before making commitments
  5. The special needs of overseas students are recognised, especially for those who are vulnerable for reasons such as age or inexperience
  6. Cultural issues are dealt with in a sensitive manner by the support services
  7. Suitable accommodation is provided with safety measures for minors (students under 18)
  8. Any problems that may occur are resolved fairly


If an international student has any complaints about their treatment by an institute, they can go through a certain steps.

Education New Zealand

Education NZ - Student Welfare

Ministry of Education New Zealand

Ministry of Education New Zealand - The Code of Practice

The New Zealand Ministry of Education has promoted a "code of practice" for international students that aims to safeguard the welfare and interests of international students wishing to study in New Zealand.

The code:

  • promotes high professional standards and conduct at all levels of conduct relating to international students
  • encourages ethical and responsible behaviour towards international students
  • supports the dissemination of up-to-date information to international students
  • recognises the vulnerability of young and inexperienced international students
  • encourages cultural sensitivity
  • outlines the procedures relating to the resolving of grievances

You can get a copy of the code online. Please contact us!

Pastoral care & the code of practice

Study New Zealand - Pastoral care & the code of practice

While you are studying in New Zealand the Government wants you to be well informed and prepared with proper care and organisational structure provided for you. Where you can build your strategic plans and achieve you goals through studying in New Zealand and discovering our distinct culture and heritage.

The Code of Practice for the Pastoral care of each International Student sets out welfare, safety, health and academic success of each student. All education providers with students enrolled on international student permits must meet the standards and provide services to meet students needs.

The Code ensures that:

  1. Professional High standards are maintained at all times and provide high level of support.
  2. Contractual, Financial and recruitment dealings with international students are completed ethically.
  3. International Students will be provided with up-to-date and precise information weather its in relation to their payment or charges, refund policy and contract between the applicant and the institute.
  4. Accurate information will be provided before making commitments
  5. Recognition of needs will be acknowledge especially in relation to those who are vulnerable because of their youth or lack of experience.
  6. Support and encouragement in relation to cultural matters will be provided at all times.
  7. Students requiring accommodation should advise Student Services well in advance of their arrival in New Zealand, all accommodation offered has been inspected by member of student services staff. Accommodation options include home-stay placement, rental accommodation and hostel.
  8. Suitable accommodation will be provided for students, to ensure safety of students under the 18 years of age, where special safety measures will be in place.
  9. Fair and justified procedures are in place in relation to grievances resolution policy.

Ministry of Education provides information in relation to the Code of Practice which is found on the Ministry of Education website.


International students can obtain documents outlining the process of complaints in relation to the way their institutions have treated them where immediate and direct contact between parents, teachers and students is possible. The complaint process may be found on the Ministry of Education website.

Education Providers New Zealand

New Zealand Education Providers

New Zealand Education System and Qualifications

New Zealand is an English speaking country, studying in this country one will find they will be learning in a primarily English learning environment. Classes will consist mainly of other New Zealanders. New Zealand is a part of the Commonwealth, there fore the education system is British based giving graduating students the opportunity for their qualifications to be recognised in many different countries.


The University year in New Zealand starts in March and ends in November, with enrollment periods being at the beginning of each semester. Semester one commences in March and the second semester commences in July. Each course is research based and the Universities are owned by the state. Offering all courses from Certificate to Doctorate.

Institutes of technology and polytechnics

As with Universities, Institute of Technology and Polytechnics are owned by the state and run from March to November each year. They also offer semester enrollments. Courses are similar to those offered at University also. Certificate to Degree qualifications are available to study.

Colleges of Education

Educational Colleges have the same enrollment dates, start dates and similar course content to those offered by New Zealand Universities.

Private Training Providers

Privately owned Institutes are mostly specialist schools. Offering courses in areas such as Hospitality, Travel and Business. There are many Private Training Providers all over New Zealand, each is registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Private Training Providers run on time tables that are similar to those of a University.

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English Language Providers.

There are a range of English Language Providers in New Zealand, they offer courses running between 4 weeks and 12 months depending on the students level of competency with the English Language. Offering flexible enrollment dates, many international students choose to undertake an English Language course prior to commencing a more formal qualification such as a University course.

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies are available through many course providers throughout New Zealand. It is generally an introduction to study in New Zealand. A useful course for international students wishing to enter the Higher Education system in New Zealand.

Secondary Schools and Colleges

There are three different types of Secondary Schools available in New Zealand, Government Schools, Private Schools and Integrated Schools. The difference is that Government schools are funded by the New Zealand Government, Private schools are privately funded and Integrated schools are half funded by the New Zealand Government. Schools may be single sex schools or co educational.

Students aged between 13 and 19 attend Secondary School, school years are year 9 to 13 with years 11 to 13 being for students working towards their National Certificate of Educational Achievement or NCEA.

The school year runs in 4 terms, and from Febuary to mid December. There are three term breaks which are usually a 2 week holiday, these holidays are in April, July and September.

Education New Zealand

Education in New Zealand

New Zealand Education System

New Zealand’s academic model was developed after the British system, meaning that qualifications earned in a New Zealand educational institute, at any level, can generally be used around the world.

Secondary schooling takes place between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. The year levels are numbered from 9 to 13 (a Year 9 student is typically 13, while a Year 13 student is 17 or 18). Students who wish to attend university must fulfil the requirements of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, which is undertaken during the final three years of high school. The credit based system assigns a numeric value to each subject, with core subjects like English and maths earning more credits than elective subjects like drama or sport. This system gives students the opportunity to tailor their learning, while still achieving fundamental literacy and numeracy requirements.

New Zealand has eight major universities, spread out across the north and south islands. These universities are state owned and follow a research based academic method. Many have appeared in international Best Universities lists. Every university in New Zealand offers degrees in the arts and humanities (including teaching), business and the sciences.

The New Zealand university academic year begins in late February and usually ends in October. The year is split into two semesters of about twelve weeks each, except for the Victoria University of Wellington, which has trimesters. University students enjoy a two week break in the middle of the year and about six weeks at the end of the year.

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are also state owned institutes of learning. While they follow a similar structure to universities, they specialise mainly in vocational training, providing teaching in industry based learning such as hospitality or the trades. There is a strong emphasis on practical learning, so teaching and examinations are often hands on, or modelled on a real world example. Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics offer certificate and diploma level qualifications. They sometimes also offer limited undergraduate and post graduate degrees.

Private training establishments offer quick training for people wanting to enter the workplace, or upgrade their skills. Teachers are usually working industry professionals instead of academic teachers and for this reason, private training establishments are able to adapt to suit the current marketplace. Courses offered in PTE’s include computing and health care.

Finally, New Zealand also offers foundation or bridging schools, which help students prepare for university studies. Foundation schools are usually attended by international students who are unused to the New Zealand academic system or don’t have the English skills, and Kiwi students who don’t have the formal qualifications to apply for university.

Education New Zealand - Preparations

Academic Year New Zealand

Academic Year for Secondary Schools and Universities

Secondary schooling

In New Zealand, secondary schools (known as either high schools or colleges) have 4 terms in a year, each of them being 10 weeks long. They start in February and end in mid-December. Their holiday breaks are 2 weeks long and are held in April, July and September. Classes are held Monday-Friday, from 8.45-3.15pm, with an hour’s lunch break, while sports and other extra-curricular activities are held after school and on Saturday mornings.

Because qualifications in the final 3 years of secondary school are based on an overall assessment of your work throughout the year, late enrolment may not be possible.


As for universities, the timetable varies depending on which one you attend. However in general the year is usually divided into 2 semesters, each one being 12 weeks long. There is a 2-week break in the middle of each semester and a 6- week mid-year break. The university year begins in either late February or early March, and ends in October. Most subjects are held over both semesters, but some only take up one semester. It may be possible to start mid-year study in July. Classes are held Monday to Friday, and libraries and other services are available on weekends. Some universities offer summer school courses from November to February, which is good if you want to reduce the length of time it takes to complete your degree. Each semester starts off with an orientation week.

Private Training Establishments

Most of these run on a similar timetable to government tertiary institutes or universities.

Language schools

These run all year; their subjects may be as short as one or two weeks, or as long as a whole year, and classes are held Monday-Friday. There may be outings or other activities available on the weekend.

Technological and Polytechnic Institutes

These have two semesters: February-June and July-November. The breaks are similar to those of secondary schools. Some courses go for half a year and start in July.

Education New Zealand Qualifications

International Student Qualification

Are New Zealand qualifications renowned for their quality?
International students intending to study in New Zealand will be pleased to know that the quality and standard of New Zealand education is comparable to most leading educational institutions around the world.

In order to safeguard this reputation, the New Zealand government has put in place a quality assurance authority entrusted with maintaining the quality and consistency of training and assessment programs.

International students should be rest assured that the national certificates, diplomas and degrees offered by New Zealand educational institutions have the required stamp of approval from the New Zealand government.

Where can I study?
International students are free to choose wherever they want to study with the notable exception of unregistered private providers or bogus course providers. They can choose to study at secondary or tertiary level.

Education New Zealand - Examn

New Zealand Education

Examination Procedures


The standards for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are determined jointly by external examinations and all-year round internal assessments. The external examinations are administered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).


Examinations and class work are the two means of assessment for this level with the overall mark being calculated from a combination of these.


Students normally write short essays or answer multiple-choice questions during the examinations which are normally held at the end of semester.

Class work

This comprises of tasks such as essay writing and school assignments or projects. The degree of active class participation may also assessed. During class discussions, students are actively encouraged to take part by debating existing theories and knowledge with their teachers in a constructive way.


Credit for prior study is called "cross-credit" or "exemption" for those students who have completed one year of formal study and wish to progress to the second year of study in New Zealand. This must be negotiated with your preferred institution during the application process. The application process is clear for applications from English-speaking countries.

Otherwise, you may need to show details of the course/s completed.

For more information, please contact us.

Education New Zealand - Qualifications and Courses

New Zealand Education Qualification

National Qualification Framework New Zealand

National Qualifications Framework
The National Qualifications Framework is a system of national qualifications available through course work in schools, polytechnics, colleges of education and wananga and work-based training programmes. It links 800 different qualifications across almost every industry.

Many of the courses international students undertake will be covered by the National Qualifications Framework. The Framework gives students the ability to plan what, where and how to learn and gives them a clear understanding of what skills and knowledge are needed to succeed in their chosen field.

The Framework provides nationally recognised, consistent standards and qualifications, regardless of where learning and assessment are undertaken.

The Framework has received strong endorsement and support from New Zealand's education and training providers, employers and national industry and professional groups. It is also compatible with similar systems being established in the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Australia and North America.

New Zealand Qualification Authority

New Zealand Qualification Authority maintains and regulates education standards in New Zealand. Find out various levels and conditions of NZQA.

At language school, international schools, such as English schools, New Zealand students can take the TOEFL, IELTS or alternatively business and professional courses.
The New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
This certificate serves as the pathway to tertiary study in New Zealand.

NCEA - Level 1
This is the first national secondary qualification and replaced the School Certificate.

NCEA - Level 2
This is similar to level 1 except that there is greater flexibility in the choice of

NCEA - Level 3
This final secondary qualification is taken in Year 13 and has replaced the University Entrance Bursaries.

This is an external assessment at level 4.

Tertiary Qualifications
Bachelors degree, graduate diplomas, Masters or Doctorate degrees can be pursued at most New Zealand universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics. Teacher colleges offer New Zealand education courses leading to registration as a qualified teacher.

NZ Education - Qualifications and Exams

New Zealand Qualifications and Exams

New Zealand being a part of the Commonwealth, means their education system is based on that of Britains. Qualifications achieved here are world recognised. Successful completion of your course is assessed on work submitted throughout the year as well as end of year and semester exams.

Secondary School Qualifications - NCEA

The NCEA or National Certificate of Educational Achievement is the award that Secondary School students are aiming to achieve. Students work towards this award through years 11 to 13 of New Zealand High School. Based on three levels, being Level 1 during Year 11, Level 2 during Year 12 and Level 3 during Year 13. For students wishing to gain entrance into Higher Education, successful completion and high grades during the NCEA study period is required.

Secondary School Exams

NCEA courses are based on credit, this credit can be achieved through successful completion of work and good marks during semester and end of year exams.

Tertiary Exams

Tertiary exams are usually taken place each semester, each subject exam will have different requirements of what students can and cant bring with them. All exams are supervised and student ID is checked prior to commencement of the exam. Exams will usually consist of multiple choice questions, essay writing or short paragraphs.

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Exam Support

Exam periods can be a stressful time for students and institutes offer support and workshop programs to help students deal with exam time stress.

Class work assessment

A student will be assessed on the way they present work and participate in class. Marks will be determined on turn out of class work such as essays, assignments, spot tests, laboratory reports, presentations, field work, practical work and special projects. Tutors or Teachers are always available for those needing some extra help.

Course Participation

All students are required to show good attendance as well as to show respect towards their tutors. A great deal of self discipline is required of students studying University courses as class times and shortened to lectures, meaning there is alot more work required of students to be done in their own time. It is important that students take part in class discussions and debate, this will help the student learn by asking questions but will also show respect towards tutors and fellow class mates.

Education New Zealand Quality Assurance and Grievance Options

Quality Assurance and Grievance Options
Quality Assurance and Grievance Options New Zealand offers world class educational opportunities, and they have the awards to prove it! The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a tri-yearly research survey that examines the achievement levels of fifteen year old students in industrialised nations. New Zealand consistently performs highly on these surveys. Furthermore, New Zealand has a higher percentage of universities on the Times Higher Education Supplement Top 500 than any other country. New Zealand tertiary education is first rate and comparatively low in cost when compared to other nations. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) monitors and helps develop national qualifications. Tertiary and training institutions must comply to strict guidelines in order to be registered with the NZQA. Never enrol with an institute that does not have NZQA registration. The NZQA also helps with student fee protection and insists that establishments refund all fees if a course finishes before it is supposed to. New Zealand has a Code of Practice to ensure that international students are looked after while in the country. For more information on that, see Pastoral Code of Practice. In the case of grievances, you should visit the international student office at your university. If they are unable to assist, you can contact NZQA via their website or free call 0800 QA HELP (0800 724 357) or try the International Education Appeal Authority, an organisation formed to enforce compliance with the Pastoral Code of Practice. You can call them on (09) 374 5481.

New Zealand Education - International Accreditation

International Accreditation

New Zealand education is recognised internationally and the fact that New Zealand offers instruction in the English language practically means that you can just about study in any country where English is the medium of instruction.

New Zealand education offers quality assurance for courses that are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Education in New Zealand

Educational Opportunities in New Zealand

Education in New Zealand

New Zealand offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from secondary schools to a variety of courses offered at tertiary institutions, for international students who are considering on studying there.

New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth and therefore have a British based education system. This means the qualifications gained are well regarded and are recognised in many countries around the world.

Studying at secondary schools, there are over 400, in New Zealand requires you to complete the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), which is a combination of internal assessments and external examinations. Entry into tertiary institutions is based on NCEA results.

There are many different types of courses to be considered when researching what would suit you as an international student.

National Qualifications Framework 

New Zealand has an organisation called the National Qualifications Framework which is a system that links the 800 national qualifications across all the educational organisations. This framework helps students plan or decide what industry field they will like to pursue. The system gives (potential) students a clear understanding of what skills and knowledge they will need to be successful in the career they choose. It is also compatible with similar systems established in other countries around the world.

New Zealand prides itself on the consistent quality and internationally comparable standards it has for its’ educational institutions. These standards are implemented and monitored by four government appointed bodies. They are:

  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) – approves and registers all courses and national qualifications offered at polytechnics and PTEs. They also take care of state secondary qualifications.
  • New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NZCC) – approves all diplomas, undergraduates and graduate programmes.
  • Institute of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) –approves of local qualifications offered at the polytechnics.
  • Association of Colleges of Education in New Zealand (ACENZ) –approves of qualifications offered at Colleges of Education.

Approved qualifications will be listed in the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.

  1. Auckland University of Technology (Auckland)
  2. Lincoln University (Lincoln, Canterbury)
  3. Massey University (Palmerston North, Auckland, Wellington)
  4. University of Auckland (Auckland)
  5. University of Christchurch (Christchurch)
  6. University of Otago (Dunedin)
  7. University of Waikato (Hamilton)
  8. Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington)

The universities and the degrees they offer are recognised as part of the international university community by leading universities around the world. If you do not wish to pursue a degree at university there are other options. New Zealand also has 23 polytechnics, also known as institutes of technology; they generally focus on specialised vocational training.

There are also five Colleges of Education, offering teaching qualifications for early childhood, primary and secondary schools. Social work is also an available study option. There will be opportunities for work experience.

Wānaga are Māori centres of tertiary learning that offer advanced study and research programmes where Māori traditions and customs are a significant part of the course.

There are also a variety of private training establishments (PTEs), there are around 860 in New Zealand, that are alternative study options. Though they are mainly privately owned and funded, some courses are funded by the government. Qualifications range from scuba-diving to business and all that is in between.

International Education in New Zealand

International Students in New Zealand

New Zealand Welcomes International Students

Education in New Zealand

The reason is not far-fetched from the fact that New Zealand has had an international reputation as a provider of quality education for quite some time now. It is an attractive destination for international students because the education system is considered to be of a high quality.

New Zealand welcomes international students at all of its institutions. They can therefore benefit from achieving qualification of a consistent quality and a standard comparable to those obtained in other parts of the globe. International students can access training that led to a wide range of qualification.

Education can be defined as the process by which accumulated knowledge, skills and values are consciously or deliberately transmitted from one generation to another. It can also be defined in its broadest sense as any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, physical ability or character of an individual.

By 1997, the international student’s population in New Zealand was 5.700. Viable research on the attainments of international students, their academic habits and performance, and graduates’ perceptions and reflections on their experience of New Zealand education.

The code of practice for the pastoral care of international students is an important document for the New Zealand ministry of education. The high quality academic education and research provide development of skills and knowledge that supports their students to compete internationally.  New Zealand is fast becoming an education destination for international students. Report has it that in 2006, the country had 95,000 students from foreign countries pursuing academic programmes.

Education Costs in New Zealand

Education Cost in NZ Compared to Other Countries

New Zealand Education CostsNZ offers a quality English language based education at an affordable price. When compared with other providers, New Zealand has about a 20% cost advantage over Australia and a 50% cost advantage over the US and UK.

Typically the total cost of one year's study at state high school ranges from $NZD 20,000 - 22,000 ($US 15,000 - 16,500). This comprises $NZD 10,000 - 12,000 for tuition and $9,000 - 10,000 for accommodation and related costs.

Education in a private school typically costs from $NZD 30,000 - 35,000 ($US 23,000 - 27,000).

University education tuition and accommodation costs on average $NZ 30,000 per year (tuition costs vary from course to course). The tuition fee is generally $NZD 16,000 - 19,000

New Zealand Education Guide

New Zealand Education guide - New Zealand education advice for international students.

New Zealand education agents advice international students for free about how to

  • enroll at accredited education providers in New Zealand,
  • get a student visa,
  • find a course,
  • meet other students eg.

Contact our New Zealand education agents now!

The New Zealand education system is highly regarded, internationally recognized and has high academic standards. The Study in New Zealand Portal is a gateway to more than 400 articles that give reliable information about education and training in New Zealand.

New Zealand's education system offers valuable opportunities for international students and interns looking for an academic and personal challenge in an English-speaking school system that is compatible with their own. International students are invited to enroll in individual international study programs and workexperience programs. All international education programs are considered "accredited" and are closely monitored by the New Zealand Government. A student can enter the New Zealand education system at any level. They can choose from eight state universities, five colleges of education, twenty-five state polytechnics and institutions of technology, four- hundred secondary schools and more than one-hundred private providers

Interested in high school, language school, college or university study in New Zealand? New Zealand experts offer free education advice assisting in enrolment, also provides a range of support services for overseas visitors wishing to study, holiday or work in New Zealand.

Schools and Universities advise students to start the application process early so as to allow them time to make preparations for their personal requirements.

On the other hand, tertiary institutions and secondary schools have different application and enrolment procedures and deadlines so it is advisable for those interested to consult with their preferred institution about the technicalities.

The chances of your application being successful are increased if it is submitted well before the deadline.

For more information, please contact us!

New Zealand Academic Year

The Academic Year in New Zealand for Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities

Secondary schools

In New Zealand, secondary schools (known as either high schools or colleges) have 4 terms in a year, each of them being 10 weeks long. They start in February and end in mid-December. Their holiday breaks are 2 weeks long and are held in April, July and September. Classes are held Monday-Friday, from 8.45-3.15pm, with an hour’s lunch break, while sports and other extra-curricular activities are held after school and on Saturday mornings.

Because qualifications in the final 3 years of secondary school are based on an overall assessment of your work throughout the year, late enrolment may not be possible.


As for universities, each individual university has its own timetable, but the year is usually divided into 2 semesters, each 12 weeks long. There is a 2-week break in the middle of each semester and a 6 week break in the middle of the year. The university year begins in either late February or early March, and ends in October. Most courses or subjects are held over both semesters, but some only take up one semester. It may be possible to start mid-year study in July. Classes are held Monday to Friday, and libraries and other services are available on weekends. Exams sometimes take place on a Saturday. Some universities offer summer school courses from November to February, which reduces length of time it takes to complete your degree. Each semester begins with an orientation week.

Technological and Polytechnic Institutes

These have two semesters: February-June and July-November. The breaks are similar to those of secondary schools. Some courses go for half a year and start in July.

Private Training Establishments

Most of these run on a similar timetable to universities.

Language schools

These run all year; their courses or subjects may be as short as one or two weeks, or as long as a whole year, and classes are held Monday-Friday. There may be extracurricular activities or group outings on the weekend.

Higher Education in New Zealand

New Zealand Tertiary Education sector

The New Zealand tertiary education sector includes private education and training providers, polytechnics & institutes of technology, wanaga (Maori learning centres), colleges of education, universities and workplace training.

To safeguard the quality and reputation of New Zealand tertiary education, the New Zealand government guarantees that all courses and qualifications offered at state institutions meet the minimum quality assurance standards.

New Zealand Education Providers

Higher Education in New Zealand


Each University provides quality service and support to its students through the efforts of range of departments and providing information for visitors including governance and management, organisational structure and units where you can put your strategic policies and plans to fruition. The timetable for University students is split into 2 semesters for around 12 weeks each, with 2-week break during the semester and a 6-week break in the middle of the year. Students may use the break periods for study and research or just relax and catch up with friends.

  1. The University year period begins in late February or early March witch ends in October of each year.
  2. Most university courses are full year courses
  3. A possibility to start University study in July is acceptable
  4. Classes are held Monday to Friday, with well equipped library and resource centre witch are designed to provide a high level of support to the learning programs with services open on weekends.
  5. Exams sometimes take place on a Saturday.
  6. In relation to some Universities where summer school courses from November to February, which reduces number of years to take to complete a degree.
  7. Each semester begins with an action-packed orientation week featuring live music and events where loads of information is provided for students before they commence courses, this is a great time to meet other colleagues and expand your knowledge in education.
  8. If you wish to claim subject exemptions, you must do so when you enrol. To do this you must send evidence of you examined knowledge of course content with certified copies of this evidence.
  9. Academic support is provided to students in relation to subject relation and career choice.

Institutes of technology and polytechnics

Institutes of technology and polytechnics have two semesters – February to June and July to November – where holidays are similar to secondary schools. Some half-year courses start in July.

Private Training Establishments

Most run on a time table similar to state tertiary institutions

Language schools run all year.

Courses may be as short as 1 or 2 weeks or as long as a whole academic year, classes run Monday to Friday. Sometimes there are extra – curricular activities and outings at the weekend.

So why don’t you come and see what New Zealand offers where you can study in the most beautiful and varied landscapes on earth that offers a distinct culture and heritage for you to lean and discover.

Tertiary Education in New Zealand

Tertiary Education Institutions New Zealand

The Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) provide tertiary education in New Zealand. These include universities, College of Education (CoE), institutes of technology and polytechnics, and Wananga. The institutes under CoE provide Certificate, Diploma, and Graduate courses.

Colleges, Private Institutes, Polytechnics Form a Major Chunk of Tertiary Education in New Zealand

Colleges play an important role in imparting tertiary education in New Zealand. There has been a regular rise in the number of international students wanting to study tertiary education. Global recognition, work options, and quality teaching skills are some of the attractive features of tertiary education in New Zealand.

Along with the colleges, polytechnics, Private Training Establishments (PTEs) and Industry Training Organizations (ITOs) also offer tertiary education – degrees at par with the colleges. Once, the students study in any of these institutes, they can study further – provided they have the required qualifications – in universities.

Objective behind Tertiary Education
The New Zealand education department has identified some useful objectives behind tertiary education in the country. It set up the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) to ensure these objectives were followed. The aim for tertiary education is to:

  • Provide a firm system of education that is as per quality standards
  • Develop Maori aspirations
  • Allow educational and industrial sector to participate
  • Develop indigenous skills
  • Encourage research work, creativity, and sociology

Professional Courses for Industries
New Zealand has about 20 polytechnics that offer technical knowledge in various fields. The tertiary education in these institutes helps students to get practical knowledge on many skills. These skills are required by the industry, who hire them no sooner they successfully complete the curriculum.

In fact, tertiary education in polytechnics and industry-related courses in colleges offer courses only after consulting the said industry. Often, there are tie-ups with the institute and the company where fresh graduates work as interns.

You can find many such technical institutes in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Auckland. There are privately owned colleges as well as government owned ones in various cities across New Zealand. International students are accepted if they fulfil English proficiency level and have the requisite academic qualification.

Tertiary Education for Economic Growth
Today, more courses are taught on business and finance as this is the area which requires greater workforce today. Ever since tertiary education was implemented in New Zealand, many reforms have been made. The administration has addressed areas where international students are given student loans to study the curriculum, teaching faculty given an increased salaries, and more regulatory systems are developed.

Top Courses Offered
Not only technical courses, there are courses on non-technical subjects, such as arts, human science, and business offered by the TEIs. Generally, certificate to diploma courses are offered by the colleges in this country. Vocational courses on horticulture, forestry, fishing, genetics, visual arts, and tourism are also offered.

The courses are as per the needs of the NZQA and many of the institutes have the rights to reward credits to the students who successfully qualify the final test. There are pre-service educational programs also are offered by some institutes. Teaching and education are often a part of the curriculum in the tertiary education provided by colleges and technical institutes in the country.

Are you studying in a secondary school and looking for tertiary education in New Zealand? Based on your qualifications and aptitude, you can opt for a course in one of the top institutes in the country.

Write to our student counsellor for details on various courses offered to students to make a head start in their career.

Higher Eduction in New Zealand

Accessing Higher Eduction in New Zealand

A mature age student is considered to be a person who has left the post-secondary school education for ten years and does not possess an Australian Year 12 or equivalent qualification.

To allow these students to gain access to a higher degree, your education provider will consider completion of minimum Year 10 or equivalent qualification with relevant work experience. All such cases will be assessed on a case-to-case basis
by the Head of Department for Higher Education.

The New Zealand Education System

New Zealand School System

The School System in New Zealand

New Zealand School System: benefits for international students

International students are becoming commonplace in a global education market which must cater for the increased mobility of students and staff. The New Zealand school system, in an effort to capture its share of this global education market, has been steadily introducing attractive new initiatives to benefit international students who wish to study in New Zealand.

Students can enter the NZ education system at any level. They can choose from more than 100 private providers, 400 high schools, 35 state polytechnics and institutions of technology, 5 colleges of education, and 8 state universities.

International students benefit from a comprehensive range of new initiatives which have been steadily introduced to the NZ school system.  These initiatives are improving the quality of education for international students at every level, offering support in the classroom and improving the methods used by government agencies and groups who administer the NZ education system.

Every aspect of the education system has been intensively restructured to cater for international students. 

  • There is now a comprehensive system in place to support school Boards of Trustees, principals, teachers, international students and their families.
  • The New Zealand education system is strengthening relationships with its schools, and with overseas education ministries, with a strong focus on building recognition of NZ qualifications amongst overseas education providers.

The NZ education system has never before been more focused on helping international students achieve their educational goals.

New Zealand Education System

The Education System in New Zealand

New Zealand Education SystemThe New Zealand Education System offers significant advantages for international students. Because New Zealand is part of the British Commonwealth, qualifications gained here are recognized in many countries throughout the world

International students enrolling in the New Zealand education system will discover an attractive and stimulating academic environment. New Zealand offers eight state universities, five colleges of education, as well as twenty-five state polytechnics and institutions of technology.

Many Private Training Providers also operate in New Zealand, offering courses in areas such as Hospitality, Travel and Business. Each is registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

There are a range of English Language Providers in New Zealand, offering courses running between 4 weeks and 12 months. New Zealand Universities offer flexible enrolment dates, so many international students choose to undertake an English Language course prior to University.

Foundation Studies, essentially an introduction to study in New Zealand, is a useful course for international students wishing to enter the Higher Education system in New Zealand.

"New Zealand offers the highest standards of education, as well as a magnificent and pristine natural environment, which cannot help but foster inspiration in the quest for knowledge.

New Zealand follows a British-based educational system, which means that most academic qualifications earned in New Zealand are recognised at other institutes in English speaking countries.

All New Zealand schools are English speaking environments (although some schools offer Maori language components.)

English Language Schools

English language courses are often undertaken by foreign students preparing for university studies.  Even if your English is competent, it is a good idea to enrol.  Many universities offer an English for Academic Study course.  Courses generally run between four and twelve weeks.

Foundation Studies

Foundation studies are bridging courses that prepare you for the New Zealand educational system.  They are usually undertaken by students who do not have the qualifications for tertiary study, or who have limited English skills.  Most universities and some secondary schools offer foundation studies.

Secondary Schools

New Zealand high schools are either private or state owned.  State owned institutes are free to attend.  Private schools charge a fee for attendance and may be single sex or aligned with a particular religion.

The academic year follows a calendar year, from February till December.  Students enjoy a two week break in April, July and September and a longer break over summer, from mid December till the beginning of February.

Year levels are named accordingly, and most high schools start with Year Nine (for students, typically aged thirteen, in their ninth year of schooling) and end with Year Thirteen (for students, typically nineteen, in their thirteenth year of schooling.)  Students begin earning their Secondary School Qualification in Year Eleven.

Studies from Year Eleven till Year Thirteen are credited towards the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), which is used when determining university placements.

Education New Zealand - Blog

New Zealand Education System

NZ education system

The land of the long white cloud has found itself catering to an overwhelming influx of international students, intent on scouring the corners of the globe in search of themselves whilst maintaining focus on their education. The NZ education system has put it's complete focus on providing these student visitors with the means to achieve their educational goals.

The attraction for international students to New Zealand's beautiful country lies in its reduced fees and lower cost of living. There are a smorgasbord of advantages given to University students in a multicultural hub of the Southern Hemisphere, the assimilation into society in Enzed makes for smooth sailing.

The global education market is forever expanded outwardly and the demand for services to cater to a mobile plethora of students and staff . In attempt to harness it's share of this marketplace, The New Zealand schooling system has introduced a comprehensive range of new initiatives for the international students who wish for New Zealand to be the choice of place in which to study.

With four hundred high schools, thirty five state polytechnics and technology institutions, eight state university sites, five colleges and over one hundred providers from the private sector students in the NZ education system can enter in at any level. These initiatives allow students to take full advantage of plenty of employment options.

A full-time international student enrolled in a course for more than one year are entitled to work during the holiday breaks in full-time employment and  a maximum of 20 hours per week during the term. For international post-graduates who studied in New Zealand, will have access to a six month employment permit and earn extra points for permanent residence visa in the general skills category of their application. Also spousal partners of students studying in remote areas of skill shortage may apply for a work permit, viable for the course duration.

With lower living costs and enhanced employment opportunities available, the lifestyle of international students in New Zealand is left stress-free to enjoy the great outdoor experience in one of the most treasured lands on earth and more importantly, concentrate on their education and maintain focus on their goals.

Kirk W.

Education New Zealand Options

Education Opportunities in New Zealand

A vibrant nation offering excellent study opportunities in a safe environment, New Zealand was the first country to adopt a code of practice that sets out standards for the care of international students, in and out of the classroom thus ensuring that they are well taken care of.

International students can enjoy a quality lifestyle at very affordable costs of living.
According to the Transparency International 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the world. This indicates that the public service here is trustworthy and the students can be rest assured about their safety.

Educational institutes are divided into Universities, Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITP’s) and Private Training Establishments (PTE’S). These qualifications are recognized all across the world.

New Zealand has a population of around 4.5 million. The country is divided into the North Island and the South Island. The major cities are Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin. The major industries are Dairy farming and tourism. Wellington is the Capital of the country. However Auckland is the hub of activity and is also the commercial capital of New Zealand having a population of 1.2 million.

Universities and ITP’s in New Zealand are state owned. The universities are research based offering courses from certificate level through to doctorates. The ITPs offer courses that are equivalent in merit to those offered in New Zealand universities.

The PTEs have on offer faculty specific programs like travel, tourism, business or design. All courses in New Zealand have to be recognized by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) seeks to ensure that New Zealand qualifications are accepted as credible and robust, nationally and internationally.
Many international students will be able to stay in New Zealand for up to 12 months on the completion of their studies. This sets out an easier pathway for students to gain residence.

Education in New Zealand - Advantages

New Zealand Education System

Advantages of the New Zealand Education System for International Students

New Zealand Education System - Advantages of the New Zealand Education System for International Students.

New Zealand… It is a beautiful country in the Southern Hempisphere with a low cost of living and for University students – low fees and a plethora of advantages!

For international students the benefits of studying in New Zealand are numerous and given its multicultural base it makes integration easy.

The New Zealand education system is based on the British education system which makes it possible for students to study their undergraduate degree in New Zealand and their post-graduate degree in a different English-speaking country.

New Zealand also provides their international students with plenty of employment options. If an international student is studying a fulltime course for more than a year then they are entitled to work full time during holiday periods as well as a maximum of 20 hours per week during the term.

Partners (spouses) of the students who are studying in areas of skill shortage (one such area is IT) can apply for a work permit which would be viable for the duration of the course.

And for those international students who have graduated from a course of study in New Zealand, they will be free to seek a six month employment permit as well as receive extra points in the general skills category of their permanent residence application.

Taking up an education in New Zealand ensures international students are provided with a decreased cost of living (whilst the living environment is spectacular) as well as all these advantages, advantages which other countries do not offer.

New Zealand Education

Education in New Zealand

Education in New ZealandThe advantages to international students are numerous, given its multicultural bases: it makes integration easy, it is based on the British education system, and it gives plenty of employment options.

Take for an instance, if international student studying a full-time course for more than a year then they are entitled to work full-time course during holiday periods.

They will also be free to seek a six months employment permit as well as receive extra points in the general skills category of their permanent residence application.

Another advantage of the education system in New Zealand to international students is the quality assurance practice.

This is provided by the education system which gives  the international students confidence when the question of choosing a course arises.

The government has set up nationally recognised  process of quality assurance. International students will achieve qualifications of a consistent quality and a standard comparable to qualification achieved in leading educational institutions in other parts of the world.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Crediting Previous Study

Students who have already undertaken tertiary study are eligible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning. Depending on the institute and the relevance to your current field of study, you can receive credits for some or all of your previous learning. These credits will be applied to your New Zealand qualification.

If you have already completed your first year of university, you may be able to enter straight into second year study at your New Zealand university. Recognition of Prior Learning is more easily accepted if your previous study was undertaken in English, or in a country or institute recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) or the Australian National Office of Skills Recognition. If you do not meet these guidelines, you may be asked to provide a copy of the relevant syllabus.

Incomplete qualifications are assessed by the the Qualifications Evaluation Services at NZQA. This process can take up to eigth weeks and costs NZ$450. In extreme cases, you can ask that your application be fast tracked. You will need to provide certified copies of all your relevant documents, such as birth certificate and academic transcripts.

Recognition of Prior Learning can reduce the amount of time it takes to finish your degree and is definitely worth exploring.

The Education System

The Education System in New Zealand

The advantages of the education system in New Zealand to international students can not be over-emphasised; it is a system that offers an attractive and stimulating academic environment. ... more

Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, skiing and yachting are the most popular pastimes for a people whose home country boasts golden beaches, tropical rainforests, glaciers, fjords and active volcanoes. New Zealand is also a thrill seekers paradise. Tourists enjoy bungee jumping, sledging and zorbing amongst some of the world’s most beautiful natural scenery ... more 

Education in New Zealand - Updates

Education in Schools in New Zealand

Education in Schools

Technology-aided education has become quite popular in various schools in New Zealand. The students are given opportunities to learn concepts through game-based assessments or interesting visuals.

Fascinating Interactive Sessions allow Young Students in School to Imbibe Knowledge Effortlessly

Many New Zealand schools have taken up steps to make school life fun-filled and inspiring by introducing computer-aided interactive sessions. The interaction of students with technology at such a young age has ushered a new beginning in New Zealand education system.

Computing not only helps a school student to learn about information technology, it also helps him or her to look at a concept in a totally different angle. Teachers help to guide the students to use information technology as their learning tool.

Many schools have also introduced blended learning where the curriculum cannot be complete without the use of computers. These schools include state-aided, state integrated, and private schools. Attractive, appealing, and accurate, computer-aided education has motivated young minds effortlessly.

Interactive Learning
Consider this: primary school students get a taste of simulation to understand a concept in science. The visuals are attractive, intensely graphic oriented, and three-dimensional that is just perfect for students to imagine the concept. On the other hand, story-telling can be quite tempting through animation and cartoons.

Keeping in line with the international market, the schools have been offering education where the traditional approach of one-sided passive lecture of the teacher is replaced by “tell and test” approach. The students take part in the learning and find out various principles themselves through experimentation.

Game-Based Assessments
Once the learning is complete, it is also necessary to test the skills appropriately. Here again, computer-based assessments have been coined. Games are introduced to invite curious school students. The assessment is no longer just the testing of one’s “comprehension” but understanding of the subject. Students have to analyze the game, play successfully as a player, and win the game. Rewards are attractive no doubt. But, what the child also earns is a true assessment of its learning.

Optimum Use of Resources

In top schools in New Zealand, students and teachers use the intranet to communicate, assemble and interact, and hone their skills. A student for instance, would know where to approach a video game to learn a concept, how to apply for an assessment, attend an online group meeting, and so on.

Teachers too, can check out the missed out points, resources, or activities. They can motivate students, allow them to think from a different angle, and assess the performance of each student effortlessly.

Education for the Future
The future of a child depends on the primary education on the whole. As it is compulsory for the kids to have education till 16 years of age, care must be taken to give the best form of education. During this period – Year 0 to Year 8 – students develop their learning ability, personality, and interests.

With the introduction of computers and information technology, the development is detailed and accurate. Computing also helps the primary students to imbibe education through entertainment and motivation.

New Zealand Education News

New Zealand Education for International Students

Unitec Institute of Technology has unveiled elective course for international students who are enrolled in an undergraduate studies. For instance, the Digital World program would help students to understand modern media communication and practices. To know more about these elective courses and their requirements, check with us.

Education for International Students in New Zealand

New Zealand Education Provider invite students for short term courses. Colleges providing application forms to interested students. International students need to complete some more formalities however. Check with our student adviser to know more about these courses and their requirements.

New Zealand International Education

New Zealand International Education is offering special programs for international students. Apart from programs on English preparation, there are special curricula on:

  • High School Preparation
  • Study Course for Working Holiday Visa Holders
  • High School Holiday Booster
  • Individual Tuition

Let us know if you want details for the following courses. Note that homestays are available for these courses while many have part-time requirements as well.

New Zealand educational institutions and Philippine educational institutions

Students and trade sought from Philippines
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark believes closer cooperation between NZ educational institutions and their Filipino counterparts could effectively boost Filipino student numbers to New Zealand.

New Zealand is perceived to be an attractive study destination because students were allowed to reside in NZ if they had found a job.

8000 students are estimated to study abroad each year. Clark is keen to capture a bigger chunk of that lucrative market through trade dialogue.

Filipinos have in the past chosen the United States as their preferred choice for international education but Clark is keen to make inroads into the lucrative Filipino market through trade and dialogue during her brief three day visit.

The Phillipines is NZ's largest export market in South East Asia and the NZ delegation is seeking trade partnerships which are mutually beneficial and strenghten relations between the two countries.

Special Education New Zealand

Outdoor Education New Zealand

Picturesque New Zealand is Immensely Resourceful for Outdoor Education

Any organized learning that takes place outdoors is commonly referred as outdoor education. The popular way of learning is known by other names too, such as adventure education or outdoor school. As New Zealand has pristine natural habitat, forested lands, lakes, and mountains, outdoor education has been adopted by many educational institutes as a way to impart recreational activities and engaging education.

Outdoor Education
Outdoor education as the name suggests deals with physical education no doubt, where students learn certain skills that could be surfing, hiking, trekking, or rock climbing. In New Zealand, this form of education has become an important part in shaping the personality of students. For instance, students coming from non-English speaking countries may learn the language and New Zealand culture through such a program.

You also may learn to:

Adapt to changes – natural as well as cultural
Make new friends in same peer group
Evolve as a leader
Settle into a team or solve problems

…And, also enjoy New Zealand thoroughly while studying the country. It allows youngsters to connect with the practical world.

Curriculum in Outdoor Learning
In KeriKeri High School, youngsters get a taste of various outdoor sports, such as abseiling, archery, and kayaking through outdoor education. At a sunny afternoon, you may find students practicing fencing, choir, or photography. The excitement in outdoor education can be seen in the performance of the students. The high school has par excellent results throughout. Like KeriKeri high school, there are many other high schools that encourage outdoor education.

Apart from physical education, there can also be an interaction with nature and environment. Many sustainability projects are accomplished through outdoor education. Many primary schools for instance in the South Island near Waitaki River participated in ecological projects. On the other hand, outdoor leader training courses were taught to Canterbury schools.

Popular Trips in Outdoor Education
Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours offers an entertainment cum learning holiday for adventure freaks. Language school, Southern Lake English Centre in Queenstown offers regular trekking, cruising, or skiing trips in the country for international students who want to learn English language. The activities in these trips give them the scope to narrate their experience fluently in English. Colleges and polytechnics, such as NMIT at Nelson offer hiking, kayaking, rafting, rock-climbing, and snowboarding as a part of adventure education.

Job Prospects
Students often take up diploma in outdoor education or Certificate courses in outdoor instruction and Management at polytechnics in New Zealand. After completion, the diploma holders can easily get jobs as instructors, tour guides, and coordinators. From rafting in glaciers to conducting tours across Fiordland Wilderness, there are many opportunities for students to take up work as outdoor education heads.

So, if you love adventure, keen to learn outdoor sports, and enjoy the untouched beauty of New Zealand, check out for various outdoor learning options offered by institutes. Contact our student adviser for useful leads regarding the trips.

New Zealand Education 2018/2019

Education Australia