New Zealand, a beautiful and unique country in the South Pacific, where exciting things are happening in Education. New Zealand is becoming the first choice for an increasing number of international students seeking quality education & to explore new ideas in pioneering programmes that will put them at the front in the world job markets of the future.

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New Zealand attracts students from all over the world for a number of reasons. For most, New Zealand is a somewhat exotic destination due to its far flung location. It is also a country with a unique culture and a stunning natural environment with endless possibilities within adventure and sports. Last but not least, education in New Zealand is of a very high quality and well accepted all over the world.

New Zealand is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country is compose by two main landmasses—the North Island and the South Island— and around 600 smaller islands.

Studying in New Zealand is an adventurous experience in a country with magnificent landscapes and coastline that encompass distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. Get ready to immerse yourself in the outdoors and delight in activities that make the most of the spectacular scenarios that will surround you.

Capital: Wellington

Currency: New Zealand Dollar ($)

Population: 4,786,280

Area: 268,021 km²

Students: 172,000 (26,000 international)

Academic Year: March - October

Languages: English, Maori, NZ Sign Language

Call code: +64

Time Zone: NZST (UTC+12)

Education System

The New Zealand education system is currently ranked as number 7 in the world – far better than many OECD countries. As a former British colony, The New Zealand education system is strongly based on the European system, with some minor differences. Primary school lasts for six years, with students often starting at 5 years of age. Intermediate school is years 7 to 8 and secondary school incorporates years 9 to 13. The naming of these divisions may differ depending on what portions of the education systems are offered at a particular school. School is compulsory until the age of 16 (year 11), and state financed. As in other parts of the world private schools are available, but require 70% of the school fees to be paid by the student’s family.

New Zealand has 8 state-funded universities. They each offer bachelor’s or master’s degree in a variety choice of subjects and have strengths in specialized professional degrees. All of them are well recognized internationally.

Besides postgraduate studies and research, further education also includes higher and vocational degree. Courses range from programs to help students into work, to certificates and diplomas. Full and part time distance learning options are also available.

New Zealand education system reflects their unique and diverse society, open to different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels and ideas about teaching and learning.

Tuition Fee & Study Cost

All higher education in New Zealand requires you to pay a certain fee per year of study. Although it is a substantial amount of money, compared to fees of many other developed countries, fees are relatively low.

  • Fees for undergraduate study can cost about NZ$18,000–$25,000 per year. Costs vary depending on your course.
  • Postgraduate courses can cost up to $40,000 per year.
  • Living costs can amount to: $100-200 per week for accommodation plus food
  • Textbooks and stationary: $500 a year
  • Photocopy cards: $100
  • Bus fares: $30 to $60 per week

In order to be granted a student visa, you will have to prove that you can not only pay the university/school fees during your time of study, but also that you can support yourself during that time. If you are not able to cover the costs through private means, here you have a few possibilities:

  • It is possible to be granted an extension on your visa for part time work up to 20 hours per week in term time and full time during holidays. – You will however have to prove that you can pay your way even without the job.
  • Any government grants, scholarships or loans granted from your home country.
  • The New Zealand government grants certain international scholarships, for both undergraduate and postgraduate study

If you are intending to stay for a period longer than six months, or intending to work, you will require an IRD number. This is your individual tax number supplied by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). The reason you need this number even if you are not working, is that if you have money in a New Zealand bank, resident withholding tax (RWT) will be withdrawn from any interest you earn. Without an IRD number, this tax will be deducted at a higher non-declaration rate.

Visa Information

In most cases, if you are studying for longer than three months you will need a student visa in New Zealand. For shorter stays it may be enough with a visitor’s visa. As with all immigration wherever you go, the procedure for issuing student visas and other documents is only one of several steps you have to take on the way to studying abroad. Therefore the basic rule applies – Start well ahead of time!

In order to be eligible for a student visa, you must have a confirmation letter on having been accepted to an NZQA accredited course and on having paid the necessary fees. This documentation must include:

  • The name of the course and the minimum time required for completing it, and
  • Proof that the course and course provider meet New Zealand’s requirements for international students, and
  • The amount of the fee for the complete course, or if the course is longer than one year, the annual fee, and
  • Whether you have to pay course fees and whether the fees are domestic or foreign fees, and
  • Whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

    The institution application process itself may take several months if you have to have your qualifications assessed etc. In addition you will need a passport valid at least three months past your leaving date, and proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and to pay future education fees throughout your study.

    Once you have all of the documentation ready, you submit your application to the nearest New Zealand embassy or consulate. For some nationalities and circumstances, special regulations apply so make sure to check with the New Zealand authorities before submitting your application that you have all the necessary documentation. Once you have your permit there are certain conditions you must meet during your stay:

    • You must enroll and attend the educational institution noted in your permit. It is possible to change the course or institution in you permit.
    • You must show that you are passing your course
    • Only undertake work allowed through your student permit
    • Obey New Zealand laws
    • Only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your permit

    Entry Requirements for Education in New Zealand
    Entry into undergraduate education in New Zealand will require a senior high school diploma considered equivalent of the education provided in New Zealand. If you are from a non-English speaking country, you must have these documents translated. In some cases, the institution you are applying to may ask you to have your qualifications assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This will cost NZ$450 and take up to 8 weeks.

    For Postgraduate education, the same applies to translation and assessment, although most countries with a similar degree structure will be acceptable for entry. You will generally need a previous bachelor’s degree within the field you wish to enter for a postgraduate course.

    The other main requirement will be proof of your proficiency in English. Proof of this can be given in several different ways from previous English speaking education to a TOEFL test result of 550 (paper based) or equivalent.

Career Prospects

If you have the right skills and experience, it's always a good time to look for work in New Zealand. The success of your job hunt depends on the sector you're looking to work in. There are currently plenty of job openings in industries such as engineering, IT and medicine - however, there are also opportunities to contribute more generalist skills.

Major industries in the country include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Financial services
  • Fishing
  • Logs and wood articles
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate services
  • Tourism

Recent employment growth has been seen in manufacturing, food production, machinery and equipment manufacturing and textile manufacturing. Particularly strong growth is focused in the Auckland and Canterbury areas.

Because of competition for jobs, it's not uncommon for international job hunters to accept more junior positions in order to gain experience of working in New Zealand.

Don't limit your options by ruling out contract or part-time work - this can sometimes lead to permanent employment.

Work Rights

New Zealand consistently ranks among the top 20 countries in the world for happiness and peaceful living index. With a strong government in place that focuses on ensuring the best for its people, its educational system is one of the finest in the world.

In fact, New Zealand was among the first few countries in the world to set up a ‘Code of Practice’ for institutions admitting international students. This ensures that the interests of the students are protected and they get full value for the fees that they pay. With a strong Asian expatriate community, international students will not feel out of place in New Zealand.A strong public transport system, easy connectivity and multiple accommodation options with self-catered and full board options make living easy for students.

The cost of living varies from city to city and students should plan their expenses with care to lead a comfortable and focused life.

Laws Pertaining to Part-Time Employment:

  • International students on a student visa are allowed to work part-time up to 20 hours a week during classes and full-time on scheduled holidays.
  • International students aren’t allowed to be self-employed. They must work as a worker (or employee) with an employment agreement, and not as an independent contractor.
  • Students of a masters by research or doctoral degree at a New Zealand institution may work full-time while they are studying.
  • Prospective students who aspire to study in New Zealand can visit the Immigration Department’s website for more details.

Popular Part-Time Jobs:

  • Data-entry work
  • Translation assignments
  • Attendant in super-markets
  • Attendant in small restaurants
  • On-campus opportunities to work in the campus library, laboratory, etc.

You must know about the 3 types of wages that you are eligible for to receive in New Zealand.

  • Adult minimum wage that averages around $16.50/hour before tax.
  • Starting-out minimum wage that averages around $13.20/hour before tax.
  • Training minimum wage that averages around $13.20/hour before tax.
  • Wages will be taxed; every student needs to apply for and secure an IRD (Inland Revenue Department) Number before they can start working.

Post-Study Work Rights:
Till now, there are two types of post-study visas available - the open visa and the employer-assisted visa. The first visa gives students a chance to find a job within 12 months of completing their programme. It is like an extended visa. The employer-assisted visa helps students to stay and gain work experience from two to three years. Students can then apply for a New Zealand resident visa under the Skilled Migrant category.

But, recently the New Zealand Government has made amendments to its study visa rules, which is a major boost to the economy. This protocol states the following:

  • Employer-assisted post-study work visas will be removed
  • A 1-year post-study open work visa will be offered to students studying Level 4–6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications. An additional year will be available for graduate diploma students who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body;
  • A 2-year post-study open work visa will be offered to students studying Level 4–6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland, provided study is completed by December 2021
  • A 3-year post-study open work visa will be available for degree Level 7 or above qualifications and International students studying Level 8 qualifications must be in an area grouped under the Long Term Skills Shortage list so that their partner can be eligible for an open work visa their children can be eligible for free domestic schooling.


  • Oakland Institute of Technology
  • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
and many more

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