Study in New Zealand

Sristy Sharma
Updated on Mar 14, 2022 11:23 AM IST

  • 344

    Courses Offered in New Zealand
  • 18%

    International Students
  • NZD 28000

    Average Cost Of Study


If you are seriously consideringan International degree in the Australasia region, then New Zealand is the place!Considered as Australias younger sibling due to the identical flags, it is the birthplace of great people such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Ernest Rutherford and pop singer Lorde. These legends were the byproducts of the flexible structure of the New Zealand education system that attracts a huge number of International students every year. Let us dive deeper into the New Zealand education system and try to understand what is it that makes New Zealand the favourite education destination for so many International students, especially from Asia.

The education system in New Zealand is very unique and reflects diversity due to various religious beliefs, income levels and ethnic groups. The New Zealand education system is considered to be one of the best in the world which is known to maintain excellent literacy standards. In the past few years, due to a gradual rise in employment opportunities, the influx of International students has steadily increased which is the major reason behind the education system in New Zealand becoming increasingly International. International students are bound to receive education of the highest quality in New Zealand due to the world-class education it provides at all the levels.

The aim behind the International Education Strategy is to provide a perfect breeding ground for International education which will be socially, culturally and economically beneficial for entire New Zealand. New ZealandGovernment is committed to providing a safe learning environment to the International students and as a result, the International Student Wellbeing Strategy was formulated. Worldwide Education for the Future Index has ranked New Zealand the best in the world at preparing students for the future. The New Zealand Government through the International Student Wellbeing Strategy is also committed to providing protection to the International students from exploitation.

Also Read: Flying from India to New Zealand in 2022? Know about Travel and Vaccination Requirements

There are 8 Universities, 16 Government Institutes and 25 Private Institutes in New Zealand that offers various Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Doctoral and Certificate courses to both local and international students. Every year almost 90,000 to 1,30,000 international students apply for various courses offered by the Universities in New Zealand which contributes around 4.4 Billion dollars to the countrys economy. All the New Zealand Universities feature in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. Usually, the New Zealand Universities have two intake seasons, i.e January and July but there are some Universities which offers multiple intakes during September and November.

New Zealand 'Most Desirable Study Abroad Destination' New Zealand Govt Allocates $51.6m to International Education Sector

The Universities in New Zealand offers only academic programmes in a wide range of subjects related to Science, Commerce and Humanities. Specializations in Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine etc are also available in the New Zealand Universities. Some of the Universities also has multiple campuses located in different cities. The vocational education is offered in 18 Polytechnic Institutes in New Zealand including English Language Training etc. The vocational courses offered in New Zealand emphasises more on work situation experience and practical experience required in the job industry. The New Zealand education system is renowned for its flexibility and the degrees awarded by the Universities/Institutes in New Zealand are quite valued by employers worldwide which gives the degree holders a good chance of getting selected in their desired job.

International Student Enrolment per Institution in New Zealand

Admission Process to Study in New Zealand Student Living Cost in New Zealand New Zealand Visa Guide for International Students

Want to Study in New Zealand?

COVID-19 Response

With the primary focus on protecting the health of the staff, students and faculty members of the higher education providers, the government of New Zealand has put in place a number of key measures. Also, it has made sure that the international students that are stuck in the country in the middle of the pandemic are assisted through hardship funds.

  • A support package has been introduced in order to provide international students with financial support amid the Covid-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions.

  • In a move to help those in need of immediate financial relief or part-time employment, the NZ government has established hardship grant funds.

  • A free online tool known as NZ Ready has been launched for those who might have to travel to the country and keep track of the Covid-19 situation in their community.

  • International students will be allowed to work more than the usual extent of 20 hours a week with the condition that they fulfil their study requirements.

  • The NZ government has also temporarily increased student loan course-related costs from $1,000 to $2,000 (as a one-time payment) which are to be spent on things to ease their remote learning. This would constitute internet costs and increased power bills. In addition, the foreign students unable to study for up to 8 weeks will be provided with support payments.

Scholarships for International Students to Study in New Zealand Job Opportunities in New Zealand for International Students

Education System in New Zealand

The higher education system in New Zealand is classified into the following categories:

Category I (Undergraduate Level):

Undergraduate degrees offered by the New Zealand Universities are divided into semesters. The academic year of these Universities runs from the month of February to November with a semester split in the month of June-July. New Zealand undergraduate degrees are valued by employers worldwide. New Zealand offers various undergraduate degrees and certifications to the International students and each one of them will offer different privileges to the students when they later opt for higher education.

The Bachelor's degree programme in New Zealand unlike other countries like the United States is a three-year programme. The students are only taught those subjects which are directly related to the course of study opted by them. For eg: a student opting for major in Mathematics will only be required to take those classes which are directly related to the subject.

The Associate’s Degree programme offered by Universities in New Zealand includes both theory-based and practical-based classes. The advantage of an Associate’s degree programme is that the students can immediately join a job after the completion of their course. Students with an Associate degree will have to spend an additional year in case they opt for a proper Bachelor’s degree. The Associate’s degrees are offered in the fields of liberal arts.

Professional certificate courses in New Zealand are offered by 600 tertiary training schools in the form of apprenticeships, internships etc in several programmes such as electrician, civil engineering, secretarial jobs, plumbing and other technical jobs. The professional certificate courses focus more on practical concepts rather than theoretical concepts. The duration of these professional certificate courses is from 2 to 18 months.

Category II (Postgraduate Level):

Postgraduate programme offered by New Zealand Universities follows the British Higher Education system where the students are awarded a Master’s degree after the completion of the course. Although similar to postgraduate studies in Australia and other countries, the postgraduate degrees offered in New Zealand Universities are mostly research driven which makes them the best in the entire Trans-Tasman region. Those candidates who have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited Institute can apply for the postgraduate courses offered by Universities in New Zealand. Focussed studies and intense classroom sessions are the hallmarks of New Zealand postgraduate courses.

Those students who opt for Professional Master’s degree courses in New Zealand will have the liberty to work in a different field of study. The duration of the Professional Master’s degree course is 2 years.

The Traditional Master’s degree programme is usually a research-based 2-year programme in which the students can obtain a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree in a particular field of study. The Master’s degree holders can either apply for a PhD course or can apply for a job related to their course work.

Students with a Bachelor’s degree can also apply for a Graduate Certificate course offered by the Universities in New Zealand. There are several advantages to pursuing a Graduate Certificate course such as the students can opt for a Graduate Certificate course rather than pursuing a professional graduate degree course, can get into a job quickly because it is less time consuming and the students can opt for a different field of study etc.

Category III (Doctorate Level):

The students can earn a Doctorate degree in Medicine, Philosophy, Dental, Law and Physical Therapy from the Universities in New Zealand. The Doctorate degree is considered to be the highest level of education or the highest level of expertise a student can get. Depending on the field chosen by the student, the Doctorate degree may take a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 6 years to complete.

Types of Higher Education Institutions in New Zealand

The higher education institutions in New Zealand can be divided into:


The representative body of universities in New Zealand is Universities New Zealand, comprising the Vice-Chancellors of all the member universities. As per the Education Act 1989, universities in New Zealand are primarily concerned with advanced learning with teaching and research are closely linked, all international standards of research and teaching met and are a repository of expertise and knowledge.

Colleges of Education

Colleges of Education, the name protected by the Act of Parliament, can be used by universities and standalone colleges of education. Some of these include the Auckland College of Education, Wellington College of Education, among others.

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP)

ITPs offer vocational and technical education along with applied research. Most students study vocational programmes at NZQF levels between 1 and 6. The vocational qualifications offered by the 18 ITPs in New Zealand ae developed by Industry Training Organisations but they are free to set their own curricula and assessments based on practical knowledge in a working environment.


A Wananga is a tertiary institution in New Zealand that is publicly owned and offers education in a Maori cultural context. Educational programmes offered here are accredited through the Ministry of Education and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). They are partly governed by New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Other Tertiary Education Organisations

Private training establishments which are privately owned firms or NGOs that offer training and Industry training organisations that offer skills training for a given industry fall under this category.

Learn About Application Process Of Top Universities Of New Zealand!

List of Higher Education Organisations in New Zealand

Given below are the authorities and organisations in New Zealand that determine policies/directions and play a part in maintaining and improving education standards of HEIs:

  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)

  • Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities

  • ITP Quality

  • Tertiary Education Commission, New Zealand

  • Ministry for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, New Zealand

  • Universities New Zealand

Curriculum and Degrees Offered in New Zealand

Schools in New Zealand follow the New Zealand Curriculum. It is aimed at creating individuals who are connected, confident, actively involved, lifelong learners” by primarily focusing on five key competencies including using language, thinking, symbols and text, relating to others, managing self and participating and contributing. The same is based on eight learning areas which include arts, English, languages, technology, social sciences, science, mathematics and statistics, health and physical education.

For secondary school students, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification to get into universities or polytechnics or be recognised by employers.

The New Zealand tertiary education include wananga, private training establishments (PTEs), universities, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and colleges of education.

Higher education in New Zealand is based on a total of 10 tertiary qualification levels from Level 1 certificates to Level 10 doctorates.

  • Level 1 certificates

  • Level 2 certificates

  • Level 3 certificates

  • Level 4 certificates

  • Level 5 certificates and diplomas

  • Level 6 certificates and diplomas

  • Level 7 graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees

  • Level 8 postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas and Bachelor’s Honours degrees

  • Level 9 Master’s degrees

  • Level 10 doctoral degrees

The eight universities in New Zealand offer academic programmes in a wide range of subjects for Bachelor’s, Masters and doctoral degrees. These include subjects in commerce, humanities, science and specialist fields such as agriculture, medicine, engineering, and more.

Grading Scale in New Zealand

Universities in New Zealand usually award letter grades with +/- variations which correspond to percentage marks. The percentage mark bands may, however, vary from one university to another and even between departments in a university.

Letter Grade

Percentage Marks Band






















Aegrotat Pass

Why Study in New Zealand?

There are various benefits of studying in New Zealand. A few of them are listed below:

  • The degrees and education programmes offered by New Zealand Universities are based on the British System of Higher Education due to which they are recognised all over the world.

  • New Zealand Universities are known to provide quality education.

  • The state-of-art facilities complement the progressive education system of the country.

  • International students are provided with a safe learning environment.

  • New Zealanders are known for their hospitality, friendliness and warmth and they love to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds.

  • Compared to other countries like Australia, Canada, UK or USA, the course fee structures in New Zealand is very less.

  • The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) provides assistance in quality assurance and choosing a course to both the local and international students.

  • Although a developed country, New Zealand provides a quiet and peaceful atmosphere suitable for the dissemination of knowledge.

  • Cheaper cost of education compared to US/UK.

Need More Details About Studying in New Zealand?

On-Campus Student Life, Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities in New Zealand

From international rankings, eco-friendly politics to perfect university life, New Zealand has managed to attract lakhs of international students with its unique reputation. Study in New Zealand can offer an overseas student a wealth of opportunities and memories because of its amazing everyday student life.

The number of students in a class at a New Zealand university will probably be smaller but this will definitely ensure that each student is given personalised attention that is usually not the case in other countries.

Another thing that sets aside New Zealand universities is the culture of challenging and questioning teachers. All students are expected to think outside the box and participate in debates and class discussions that further lead students to think innovatively. Every university in the country makes sure that its staff is dedicated to making a student’s time successful and stress-free. International students in NZ are also protected by a Code of Practice that sets standards for every institution to meet in assisting international students.

As a student, you may stay in a hall of residence which is considered the best option for someone who is new to the country. This further provides them wider scope to engage in a diverse range of university sports including cricket, rugby, hockey and more.

Universities in New Zealand offer opportunities outside the classroom for students to get involved in activities they like. They often have different clubs and organisations open to both domestic and international students where they can enjoy board games, participate in student government, choir, drama, computer clubs, sports, among other things.

FAQs on Study in New Zealand in 2024

Is it possible to study in New Zealand for free?

While there is no provision to study in New Zealand for free, there is provision of scholarships on national, regional and university levels for international students. A good academic background and co-curricular support can help in securing a 100% scholarship, even in top universities such as University of Auckland.

Is New Zealand expensive for international students?

New Zealand is among the developed countries in the world and also offers some of the top courses. These characteristics make studying in New Zealand expensive for international students. In fact, the average cost of studying and living in New Zealand is similar to that of the US for both undergraduate and graduate courses.

When should I apply for admission to New Zealand universities?

In order to be on time and also prepared for any unavoidable circumstances, it is recommended that students start preparing for admission documents about 1-1.5 year before the desired intake season they wish to enrol in for admission to New Zealand universities. The gathered documents required to study in New Zealand shall help in properly attesting time to additional requirements, if any.

Which are the top courses to study in New Zealand?

The most popular courses to study in New Zealand include, IT and Computer Sciences, Business and Management Studies, Engineering, Medicine, Agriculture and related areas, Geology, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, Animation, Creative and Digital Arts, Forestry Engineering, Trading, Sports Management and Hospitality Management.

What kind of courses are available in New Zealand?

As an international student, the courses available in New Zealand include courses on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In statistical view, the graduate courses are quite popular due to the research supportive environment of the country. There are numerous fields of study in New Zealand from which international students may choose what fits them the best.

Which are the top universities of New Zealand?

Top universities of New Zealand include University of Auckland, University of Otago, Auckland University of Technology, University of Canterbury, Victoria Institute of Wellington, Massey University, University of Waikato, Lincoln university and UNITEC Institute of Technology. They are featured in the top global ranking lists.

What is good about studying in New Zealand?

The geographical setting of New Zealand makes it a good location for studying along with various research projects. In fact, the research universities and centres of New Zealand are among the world’s best. As a part of these universities and environment, international students can pursue their careers in research cells which are among the top-paying career options.

How do universities in New Zealand rank globally?

Top universities and colleges of New Zealand are constantly included among the top global educational institutions by the recognised charts. The Times Higher Education and QS rankings accept the universities of competence and rank them among world’s best in their global rankings on both overall and subject-wise parameters.

Is New Zealand a good study abroad destination?

Yes, all in all, New Zealand is a good study abroad destination. It is a developed country which offers a lot of opportunities to international students. It also ranks among the top ten on the Global Peace Index and, therefore, is one of the safest countries to pursue education. The cultural background is also rich and inviting, and people are very welcoming.

Is it hard to get admission to New Zealand universities?

No. It is significantly eaiser to get admission to New Zealand universities when compared to universities in the US, UK and Canada. New Zealand offers a lot of opportunities to international students and is considered among the easiest study abroad destinations. As far as eligibility standards are met, admission is easy.

Popular Universities in New Zealand

View All

Admissions Open 2024

View All

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Guide to study in New Zealand

Planning to study in New Zealand?

  • Not sure, Help me decide

Explore Colleges

Planning to study in New Zealand?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.