Kia ora


Education in New Zealand

Consistently ranks amongst the best in the world


New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.

New Zealand’s education system focuses on teaching students to solve problems, absorb, analyze and apply information, to work with others to create and innovate. The system supports debate, free thinking and flexibility, and our teachers encourage students to be confident, connected and actively involved, lifelong learners. Education in New Zealand is student-centred. Each student is able to develop their potential along a number of possible pathways, academic and/or vocational.
International Comparisons

  • “New-Zealand is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system” according to the 2013 Better Life index.
  • First in world for education and fifth most prosperous country according to London-based think tank, The Legatum Institute.
  • First for Best Country for Business by Forbes.
  • Ranked least corrupt nation in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
  • Third most at peace country according to the Global Peace Index.
  • Confirmed as one of the world’s most innovative nations in the 2013 “Global Innovation Index” ranking 17 out of 142 countries.

anz1Education System
New Zealand’s education system has three levels – early childhood education, secondary schooling, and tertiary education – across which students can follow a variety of flexible pathways.
Our system is designed to recognise different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels, ideas about teaching and learning, and allows education providers to develop their own special characters.
National policies and frameworks for regulation and guidance, requirements and funding arrangements are set by central government and administered through its agencies. Administrative authority for most education service provision is devolved to education institutions, which are governed by individual Boards or Councils.
New Zealand has strong quality assurance systems which ensure consistent, high quality education across all levels of the education system, both public and private.
Whatever higher education you’re looking for, you’ll find it in New Zealand. You can study for either academic or more practically focused qualifications, gaining everything from entry-level certificates to diplomas, degrees and doctorates. What’s more, these institutes are located nationwide, so you can study just about anywhere you like.

The benefits of New Zealand universities


New Zealand universities are ranked in the top 3% in the world.* Leading the way through academic excellence, individual thought and global connections. New Zealand’s universities have an international reputation for excellence based on new thinking.
*QS World University Rankings.




  • All New Zealand universities are ranked amongst the world’s best by QS World University Rankings.
  • Our universities rank in the world’s top 100 in 31 subjects.
  • The OECD 2013 Better Life Index rates NZ as a "top performing country" for the quality of its education system.


anz1Highly sought after qualifications
The qualifications you’ll gain in New Zealand are highly regarded and sought-after by employers and other educational institutions around the world.




Gain the skills that will open doors
When you study in New Zealand, you learn beyond your subject. You’ll become a confident, critical and creative thinker. These skills are highly prized by employers worldwide.

Global recognition
As a member of the Lisbon Qualification Recognition Convention, New Zealand qualifications are recognised in over 50 countries.

Pathway to employment
Get ahead of the competition
New Zealand bachelor degrees listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework are widely recognised in the international job market and for postgraduate study.

When you graduate, you’ll be very employable
New Zealand education focuses on real-world skills, ensuring you’re ready to work anywhere when you graduate. You can also further your research in New Zealand.
anz1Your skills will be valued
Employers value New Zealand graduates’ ability to think independently, find solutions and solve problems. Many New Zealand employers are actively seeking skilled professionals, so you can find work here if you want to stay.




You’re always welcome here
Friendly locals
New Zealanders are known for welcoming people from other cultures and countries. With our safe and tolerant environment you’ll feel right at home here right away.

You’re welcome to stay
Many students choose to stay in New Zealand after their study; either to work, live, study further, or just enjoy the beautiful landscape and great lifestyle.

International Connections
Over 20,000 international students choose New Zealand universities from some 160 countries. Join student networks and make international connections for life.

Our world-class universities

Study and get the skills you need to become work and job ready

Studying at New Zealand’s institutes of technology and polytechnics will give you the skills, qualifications and experience you need to work anywhere in the world. New Zealand’s private training establishments provide job pathways into specialist industries like:

  • Business and Technology
  • Food and Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Commercial Aviation
  • Animation and Game Design

What puts New Zealand ITPs and PTEs ahead
New Zealand’s ITPs are recognised as world class educators

  • There are 18 ITPs throughout New Zealand, with over 157,000 students gaining qualifications in all kinds of industries.
  • ITPs provide high-quality qualifications and training focused on practical skills and hands-on experience.
  • ITPs teach in facilities that mirror real-world situations and workplaces.

Work ready graduates
Applied learning
All ITP qualifications, from certificate to post-graduate level, are focused on specific job outcomes. It’s all about helping you further your career, and be more employable.

Learning on the job
ITP programmes can include internships, work placements and industry projects. It’s another way to help you gain experience and become job-ready

anz1The world is your workplace
New Zealand ITP qualifications are recognised internationally, giving you the widest possible job market




High quality, affordable education
Specialised institutions with the highest standards give you excellent training and a great student experience

  • Choose from a wide range of qualifications and get the skills you need to work in the industry you want
  • Smaller class sizes give you access to academic staff and industry partners

Get the skills employers need
The right skills for the job
All qualifications, from certificate to post graduate level, are focussed on achieving real job outcomes for you.

Hands-on experience
You’ll get invaluable practical workplace training and work on ‘real world’ company projects

anz1The world is your workplace
Your qualification will be recognised internationally, giving your resume the edge over other job applicants.




Work while you study and after your study
While studying
If you’re a student with a student visa enrolled in a full-time programme, you may be able to work*:
20 hours per week during the year
Full time during scheduled breaks

After study
After your study is complete, you may be eligible for a work visa under our Study to Work category. **
Post-study work visa (open) for 12 months
Once working, visa options for a further 2 or 3 years.

* To be eligible to work, your course must meet certain requirements. If you’re eligible, your student visa label will detail the work conditions.
** For information on post-study work visas, please discuss with your provider or refer to Immigration New Zealand’s website.