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New Zealand


Are you interested in studying in New Zealand? If you do, you won’t be alone! Over the last few years we have had a steadily increasing number of international students seeking education in New Zealand.

International students can only obtain student visas for full-time study towards a New Zealand qualification with providers who are registered and approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. You can search for an education provider on this site as they are all NZQA registered.

 Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students

The Ministry of Education operates a Code of Practice that provides a framework for looking after international students. It covers pastoral care, accommodation and provision of information. All members of Education Tauranga are signitories to this code!

 Qualifications and levels of study

There are 10 levels of study in New Zealand schools and universities. The lowest level is a Certificate and the highest is a Doctoral degree. Each level is more complex than the one below it. These are the names of our qualifications and their levels:

  • Certificates are at Levels 1 to 4
  • Diplomas are at Levels 5 and 6
  • Bachelor’s degrees and Graduate Diplomas are at Level 7
  • Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas, and Bachelor’s degrees with Honors are at Level 8
  • Masters degrees are at Level 9
  • Doctoral degrees are at Level 10

You will find that all our major education providers have qualifications with these names. So you can easily understand what the qualifications mean and compare qualifications between education providers.

All major education providers are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). So you can be sure that you are studying for an approved qualification. And it’s been assessed to ensure that it is high quality. Some private training establishments don’t use NZQA qualifications. You will need to check and make sure their courses are suitable for you.

At polytechnics you can study for a certificate, diploma or degree. These institutions offer more practical and vocational courses.

A university bachelor’s degree usually takes three to four years. Most degree structures give you the opportunity of combining your major subject (like chemistry) with supporting subjects known as minor subjects (like mathematics).

After that, you can study for a post-graduate qualification such as a graduate diploma, master’s degree or doctorate.

 English Language Qualifications

At most English language schools you will be able to take General English Classes. You don’t gain a qualification in General English. But you will be better prepared to go on to further study or just to communicate more easily in English.

At our language schools you can study for one of the international English examinations. It is important to achieve good scores if you want to go on to further study in New Zealand.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – IELTS is used at most tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is increasingly used in the United States too. It assesses your ability to read, write, speak and listen in English. Use our links to find out more.

TOEFL (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) TOEFL is used in many North American tertiary institutions. It tests your ability to read, write and listen. The spoken test is taken separately. Use our links to find out more.

The English language requirements for international students are strict in most tertiary institutions. Make sure that you find out exactly what standard of English you need for the course you choose to study. Most New Zealand universities offer English language tuition for students who are already enrolled or who want to study there.

Secondary School Qualifications

There is a new qualification for secondary school students called the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). It replaces our previous system of qualifications and is recognized overseas. NCEA is very new and it is still being developed.

You can read a simple description of NCEA. Or you can find out more about it by looking at NCEA.

Opportunities in New Zealand

Whether you are planning to study at secondary school, take a university degree, or a short course in English language, New Zealand has a lot to offer. Lots of people come here to study and there are plenty of opportunities for you to reach your goals and enjoy our way of life too. What could be better than balancing hard work with your choice of sport and recreation? It’s easy to do in New Zealand.

Isolated geographically, with many attractions, New Zealand is a modern, developed nation with influences from Europe, the Pacific and Asia. Its two official languages are English and Maori but English is the main language in daily use.

Kiwis enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle than people in many other countries. They enjoy an excellent quality of life that compares well with other western nations.

The cost of living varies, depending on where you live, what accommodation you choose, the study options you decide on, and your lifestyle. New Zealand has many educational institutions, more than you would expect for a small population. So there’s a lot of choice.

Our educational standards are high and our qualifications are internationally recognized. You can study in a clean, healthy, safe environment. And we have a growing number of international students, so you won’t be alone.


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