Study in New Zealand
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Study in New Zealand

If you are looking to further your studies, then you might want to consider going to study in New Zealand. Tertiary education in New Zealand is offered by a broad range of providers comprising Universities, Polytechnics, Institutes of Technology, Industry Training Organisations and Private Training Establishments.

Education providers grant qualifications at all levels – diplomas, certificates, graduate and postgraduate degrees. They are all listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. The NZQA website has information on the various levels of qualification available and where they fit on the Framework.

An additional good source of information is the careers.govt.nz website. It has a job library that you can utilise to look for explanations of what people actually do in that type of job, what skills and qualifications you require, what you might earn and what prospects there are for employment.

Universities, Institutes of Technology/Polytechnics, and Wānanga

New Zealand boasts of eight universities that provide academic programs, rather than vocational.

All New Zealand’s universities provide a wide range of subjects for undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral (PhD) degree programs in science, commerce, and the humanities. Some universities provide degree programs in specialist areas like agriculture, medicine, engineering, etc. Many universities have over one campus, often situated in various cities, and some have abroad programs.

In addition, New Zealand also boasts of 18 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs). They offer specialized and vocational education and training ranging from preliminary studies through to full degree programs. A lot of ITPs as well provide English language training and postgraduate studies up to Doctoral (PhD) stage. Programs are more vocationally adapted, placing emphasis on practical experience and application to work circumstances. A degree program from one of these institutions has the same status with a university degree program.

There are three Wānanga in Aotearoa New Zealand. These tertiary institutions provide teaching and learning settings that are based on Māori values and ideologies. A lot of these institutions offer qualifications in te reo Māori (Māori language), nursing, teaching, health, business, English language and Māori arts. Wānanga provide a lot of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, comprising master’s and doctoral (PhD) level qualifications.

Admission requirements for Study in New Zealand

To study in New Zealand for diplomas and degree programss at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, candidates with backgrounds from New Zealand’s secondary school system typically need NCEA Level 3 qualifications.

Students coming to study in New Zealand from abroad need to be able to show they’ve achieved a similar University entrance level of education – that can comprise GCSE A levels for candidates from the UK, Hong Kong ‘A’ Levels, STPM /Malaysian Higher School Certificate Australian Matriculation Year 12 Certificate. They also are required to prove their English language skills.

Domestic candidates over 20 don’t require formal qualifications to apply for study in New Zealand.

Candidates going to study in New Zealand can also do foundation studies or pre-university orientation programs at PTEs or universities to get them ready for university-level study. You should check with the tertiary education provider you’re looking at.

Applying to Study in New Zealand

The academic year is from March to November. However, a July start date may be possible for some programs and summer semester programs (January to March) may be available.

When you’ve chosen the institution and program you want, you’ll have to complete and send back the required paperwork. Once granted admission, the institution will send you an ‘offer of place’ letter and once you have paid the required fees, the institution will forward you a ‘confirmed offer of place’.

If your program is for less than 12 weeks, or your nation has a visa-free agreement with New Zealand, you don’t require a visa.

In all other circumstances before you can study in New Zealand, you’ll be required to apply for a New Zealand student visa and be able to tender the confirmed offer.

Fees and allowances

Candidates with ‘domestic’ status have their fees financed by the government, although they’re required to contribute around 30% of the cost of their program. That is applicable to New Zealand nationals and holders of residents’ visas. There are some other classifications of people qualified for domestic status – go to the Ministry of Education website for additional information.

Other candidates that study in New Zealand can access tertiary education in New Zealand but they pay international fees. Fees can vary across boards depending on the program and the institution, so visit the websites of the institutions you’re looking at.

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