Are you planning to study in New Zealand? This country really seems to have it all - world-class universities, high quality of life, diverse communities, vibrant cities, stunning natural scenery and an unbeatable range of outdoor pursuits - and all within a relatively compact area.
Cities such as Auckland and Wellington offer no shortage of cultural activities, while for those with a passion for the great outdoors, the range of terrains to explore is mind-blowing - including glaciers, mountains, rainforest and of course coast.
New Zealand offers quality schooling at the secondary level. Typically, secondary study lasts five years and begins when students are 12 or 13 years old.
The term ‘tertiary’ is used to describe all aspects of post-school education and training. New Zealand has a large number of institutions that teach at the tertiary level. They include not only universities, but also polytechnics and privately owned and run training establishments.
Although similar to the British higher education system, we’ve put together a brief guide to what’s what in the New Zealand system.
State owned universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and wānanga (Māori centres of learning) are institutions that have been set up by the New Zealand government and approved by the Minister of Education.
They are government funded and market responsive institutions that offer programmes of study and research in demand by both domestic and international students.
New Zealand's eight universities are part of the international university community.
Degree programmes from New Zealand universities are recognised internationally by all leading universities.
There are 23 polytechnics or institutes of technology in New Zealand. Polytechnics have traditionally specialised in vocational training, but that role has expanded over the last decade to meet the needs of learners and the economy.
Many are involved in research activities, particularly in applied and technological areas and other degrees.
Colleges of education provide programmes required for early childhood, primary and secondary school teaching qualifications.
They also provide training for other occupational groups such as social workers. All courses involve supervised on-the-job training for students.
Wānanga, Māori centres of tertiary learning, were established as tertiary education institutions in the last decade.
These offer advanced study and research programmes where ahuatanga Māori (Māori tradition) and tikanga Māori (Māori custom) are an integral part of the programme.
There are three wānanga in the public sector.
New Zealand is internationally recognised for its excellent education standards and as a provider of quality teachers.
There are six government-funded specialist education institutions, two operating from within universities, and the others offering their programmes in collaboration with their local university.
They offer training for teachers from early childhood to primary, secondary, special and higher education level.
As well as state-owned education providers there are approximately 860 private training establishments (PTEs) in New Zealand.
These PTE's are privately owned and funded, although some of their courses attract government funding.
They offer a wide variety of courses that lead to qualifications in a large range of vocations from scuba diving to hospitality to business.