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New Zealand Education System for Indian Students


The education system in New Zealand is incredibly unique and diverse that offers consistent, high-quality education at all levels maintaining a global standard. The New Zealand education system is among the greatest globally, with the highest literacy level in maths and science.

The education system of New Zealand, however differs from other countries. Here, the approach of the education system is student-centred. It provides continuous learning progression to set the foundation of their learning and help them progress every year.

How Does the New Zealand Education System Work?

The education system in New Zealand has three levels:

  • Early childhood education: for the age group 0-4 years.
  • Primary and secondary education: for age group 5–18 years.
  • Further education: for the 18+ age group 

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education (ECE) provides education and care for children before primary schooling. It is the most crucial step as it sets the foundation of learning. It helps children develop life skills and be confident and curious about the world. ECE is not compulsory, but around 96.8% of children attend ECE.

Some of the Early Childhood Education providers include

  • Playcentre (age one to school-age)
  • Kindergarten (age three to school-age)
  • Kohanga Reo
  • Licensed Early Childhood Centres (age 0 to school age) (usually privately owned)
  • Chartered Early Childhood Centres (age 0 to school age) (state-funded)

Primary and Secondary Education

Primary schooling: Basically, education begins at this stage. Children can attend a contributing elementary school or a full-time primary school. The primary schools go from years 1-6 and Full-time primary schools go from years 1-8. In general, contributing primary schools are more common than full-time primary schools.

Secondary Schooling: In secondary school, children complete their final school years. It is for children in the age group 9-13 years.Secondary schools are often called college or high schools. For Permanent citizens of New Zealand, education is free for children between the ages of 5 and 19 at state schools (government-owned and funded schools).

The education system in New Zealand is of 13 Year levels. Primary education is from Year 1 to Year 8 (age group 5–12 years), and secondary education goes from Year 9 to Year 13 (age group 13–17 years).

Further Education/Higher Education

Higher education in New Zealand has an extensive post-compulsory education and training system. Different universities, institutes of skill and technology, workplace training, government training establishments, and wānang offer higher education in New Zealand.

New Zealand has eight state-funded universities, 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), and about 550 Private Training Establishments (PTEs), including English language schools.

Upcoming Intakes in New Zealand for Indian Students

Unlike Indian universities, universities and institutions in New Zealand offer intakes twice a year, in January and July intake.

  • January Intake: The January intake starts at the beginning of the year. The application begins at least 3-months before. To get admission in the January intake, try to apply before November at the Universities.
  • July Intake: The July semester starts in the middle of the year, in July. The application begins 3-months before, and you must apply by May end.

So, if you are planning to study in New Zealand, the upcoming intakes would be in July 2022 and Jan 2023.

Apart from this, other intakes, also known as rolling intakes, are available throughout the year. It offers vocational and short-term courses at universities in New Zealand.

Qualifications Framework in the New Zealand Education System

The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) is a system that assures the level and quality of qualifications offered by New Zealand education providers. All the qualifications listed on the NZQF come with an assurance of quality that is recognized and trusted worldwide.   The New Zealand Qualifications Framework has 10-levels:

  • Level 1, 2, 3, and 4- Certificates
  • Level 5 and 6 Diplomas
  • Level 7 Bachelor's Degree and graduate diploma
  • Level 8 Post Graduate Diploma
  • Level 9 Masters Degree
  • Level 10 Doctorate/PhD

The NZQF study level indicates the level of education. It is also applicable for post-study work visas for international students in New Zealand.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements in New Zealand differ from study programs and levels. The mandatory requirement for all courses is to pass English language proficiency tests. The most common ones among these are IELTS or TOEFL, or PTE.

Apart from English proficiency, the following documents also need to be submitted:

  • Letter of Recommendation from the previous employer (if you have work experience).
  • Statement of Purpose
  • An updated CV.
  • Portfolio (for art and design courses and architecture programs)
  • Other certificates/achievements
  • GRE/GMAT/ACT/SAT scorecard (if applicable)
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Educational Credentials Evaluator

Popular Programs in New Zealand Education System

The following programs are extremely demanding in New Zealand.

At any academic level, you can pursue any of the following programmes at New Zealand universities:

Name of the University 

Popular UG Programs

Popular PG Programs 

University of Waikato

Bachelor of Business

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Engineering

Master of Information Technology

Master of Management

Master of Engineering

The University of Auckland

Bachelor of Computer Science

Bachelor of Commerce

Bachelor of Engineering

Master in Computer Science

Master in Management

Master in Data Science

Lincoln University 

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Commerce

Bachelor of Agriculture

Master of Tourism Management

Master of Science

Master of Arts

Auckland University of Technology

Bachelor of Information Technology

Bachelor of Arts, Construction Project Management

Master of Construction Management

Master of Creative Technologies

Victoria University of Wellington

Bachelor in Nursing

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Commerce

Masters in Professional Accounting and Professional Business Analytics

Master in Computer Science

Massey University 

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Aviation

Bachelor of Business

Master in Public Health

Master in Education

Master of analytics

University of Canterbury

Bachelor of Engineering

Bachelor of Computer Science

Bachelor of Science

Master in Business Information Systems

Master in Business Management

Learning and Education Style in New Zealand

The education, learning, and teaching style in New Zealand is very corroborative. The education system here aims to focus on every student, so the number of students per classroom is also less compared to other western countries, offering more personalized attention. The teaching methods and techniques are also constantly developed to help students keep updated.

New Zealand is also the first country to offer support for international students by creating a code of conduct outlining a level of care for international students both within and outside the classroom.The education system in New Zealand is meticulously designed to help students across all levels of education, from vocational education and training (VET) and English language courses to higher education (including universities), both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. 

Undergraduate courses in New Zealand Education System

New Zealand Education system is a hub of multicultural prospects. It offers an entire range of courses for students across the globe.

Here are some of the demanding bachelor's programs in New Zealand.

Course Name

Course Duration

Bachelor of Nursing


Bachelor of Information Technology


Bachelors in Law


Bachelor of Design


Bachelor in Arts


B.com in Marketing


Bachelors in Journalism and Media


Postgraduate Courses in New Zealand Education System

New Zealand has an international reputation for high-quality education. Students from all over the world are planning to study for a Master's degree in New Zealand as the next step in their education and professional careers.

Here are some of the best master's programs in New Zealand.

Course Name

Course Duration

Master in Agricultural Science


MSc Computer and Information Science






Master of Professional Accounting


MSc Psychology


Tuition Fees Structure in New Zealand Education System

  • There are various universities in New Zealand, and tuition fees vary depending on the degree type, level of education, and length of study.
  • Certain degrees in disciplines like Medicine and Engineering are expensive. At the same time, courses such as humanities, arts, and education are cheaper.

There are two types of Universities in New Zealand: Public Universities and Private Universities.

Tuition fees at public universities

The average fees in Public Universities in New Zealand are:

  • For Bachelor's: 4,100–6,100 EUR/year
  • For Master's: 7,300–10,500 EUR/year
  • For Ph.D.: 3,700–5,100 EUR/year.

Tuition fees at private universities

When compared to public institutions, private universities are more expensive. The average tuition fee at private universities in New Zealand is 20,000 EUR or even +25,000 EUR per academic year. 

Financial Aid to Study in New Zealand

Finance is not an issue if you seriously want to study in New Zealand. There is a range of scholarships offered by the universities and colleges before deadlines that you can apply.

Some of these scholarships that you can apply for are

  • New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS)
  • New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships
  • New Zealand Excellence Awards (NZEA)
  • SEG Scholarships.

The financial aid can be partial or fully paid, depending on the criteria, course, and institution. You can also apply for a student loan and allowance to assist you in paying for school tuition, course-related costs, and living expenses.

If you found the New Zealand education system appealing and is right up your alley, then start applying with AECC . It is a great starting point for you to learn about the courses, universities, visa requirements, and other aspects in just one place.

FAQs About New Zealand Education System

Does New Zealand have a good education system?

Yes, New Zealand has a good education system and has been rated by the Legatum Prosperity Index. 

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