Education System in New Zealand
The education system in New Zealand is a three-tier model which includes primary and intermediate schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and polytechnics. The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from early February until mid-December for primary schools, late January to late November or early December for secondary schools, and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.
The educational system in New Zealand is extremely varied and is one of the best in the world. According to scores, it has the highest levels of literacy, mathematics, and sciences in the country. The public educational system is one of the best funded in the world; New Zealand offers the highest percentage of public funding in education in the world. Several indices rate New Zealand as the number one country in the world for education.
There are eight universities throughout the country, along with 18 technology institutions and over 600 training schools which help with specialized skills. Five of the universities in New Zealand are in the top 50 of the world’s universities according to the QS World Top 500 rankings. New Zealand is known for its business, technology, engineering, medicine, and biological sciences, and the schools are world class.
A range of under graduate and postgraduate diplomas is also available, along with honours programmes (usually requiring an additional year of study).
New Zealand Polytechnics, and Institutes of Technology, are state funded and provide education and training at all levels ranging from introductory studies through to full degree programmes. A few of them offer PG programmes as well. Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology are efficient tertiary providers offering programmes which can be both academically and vocationally focused. Due to their active engagement with industry, employers and government agencies they provide programmes which are of a high academic standard and are relevant to the rapidly changing workforce on a global basis. Polytechnics offer diverse courses like Arts and Design, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality etc.The polytechnics in NZ are known for the programs which are “Read to Enter the Job Markets”.
Private training establishments are registered and their courses approved by NZQA. Institutions and schools in this sector provide a range of courses including English language, aviation flight training, air traffic control, English, business computing, dance, design and arts, religious studies, travel and tourism and training for the hospitality industry.
The first degree a student is able to gain in New Zealand is as elsewhere, a Bachelors degree. With a completed Bachelor’s degree, a graduate may be able to go on to a Masters degree. These degrees may be awarded with Honours, an indication both of the challenge the course presents and of the student’s achievement in it.
Courses like Postgraduate Diploma (one-years full-time study, designed for graduates, which builds on the subject matter in the academic field of the previous degree), Graduate Diploma
(one-year, full-time course of study for graduates. It does not always require its students to have prior learning or experience in the subject matter of the diploma), Master’s Degree(the Master’s degree is open to those who have completed a Bachelors degree. The course of study is usually of one or two year’s full-time study or its equivalent in part-time study) are available.
New Zealand Doctoral Research scholarships are a significant educational opportunity. Doctorate programmes generally take at least 3 years of full time study to complete. It is a fully research based degree. PHD students pay domestic tuition fee which is a ‘benefit’ of fee difference from international fees to domestic fees’. Scholarships are also awarded to the students based on academic merit and research ability by the university.
The academic year is from mid / late February to early November and most Universities have 2 semesters with a holiday of 4 weeks in June. Each University operates slightly different dates and some also offer summer school in the main holiday period in November to February. Intakes are in February, July and sometimes in September.
All students must be fluent in English language if they are to succeed at university in New Zealand. We can recommend waiver of IELTS / TOEFL wherever possible. A band of 6.0/6.5 for undergraduate & 6.5 / 7.5 for postgraduate courses is desirable.