New Zealand

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Education in New Zealand


Education in New Zealand

New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century. We seek a world leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century. In the current knowledge age, learners need to know how to problem-solve, synthesise information, work with others, create and innovate. These goals are at the heart of New Zealand’s education system.

All aspects of education in New Zealand have undergone transformation in the past two decades, including the areas of governance, curriculum, assessment, qualifications, and teaching and learning. As a result, a range of new ideas and methods have been successfully adopted, based on evidence and research. Education in New Zealand is focused on the life-long learning needs of students.

Each student is able to develop their potential along a number of possible pathways, academic and/or vocational. Schools and teachers use a variety of learning materials, experiences and media to encourage critical thinking. This focus on research-evidenced best practice is one of the factors contributing to raising student achievement in New Zealand.

There is considerable international interest in New Zealand’s achievements in education. New Zealand has educational agencies, providers, managers and teachers with a good understanding of what works and why. New Zealand educators’ expertise and experience are also increasingly sought after around the world.

  • New Zealand Education System

    New Zealand Education System

    New Zealand has an excellent education system and qualifications gained here are recognised as equal to the best in the world. For more than one hundred years it has had a state (public) school system that is ‘free, secular and compulsory’. At the same time there is a strong degree of tolerance, which enables communities to build and operate private schools along religious or cultural lines.
  • PhD Degree

    PhD Degree

    The main Doctorate degree offered by New Zealand universities is the Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy. This particular award is a postgraduate academic degree given by specific universities. A Ph.D. can be studied fulltime or part time on the basis of requirements. New Zealand is reputed to give to its students, both academics and extra curricular activities.
  • Master Degree

    Master Degree

    Master's or postgraduate degree programs offered in New Zealand are of high quality and reputation. International students are able to experience an excellent environment and support service in this country. There are 8 popular universities that offer the best postgraduate courses to both local and international students
  • Graduate Certificate & Diploma

    Graduate Certificate & Diploma

    The Graduate Certificate is typically designed as a bridging qualification to postgraduate study for individuals developing educational, professional or vocational knowledge in a new discipline, profession or subject area and/or as a broadening or deepening of skills or knowledge already gained in an undergraduate degree.
  • Bachelor Degree

    Bachelor Degree

    A Bachelor's or an undergraduate program in New Zealand is part of university education. 'The Programme for International Student Assessment' ranks this country's education as the 7th best in the world. An undergrad course is typically an intense 3 year course although in some disciplines such as double degrees, the program can stretch from 4 to 6 years too.
  • Foundation Degree

    Foundation Degree

    Students who wish to go to University but do not want to go to secondary school because they may have already completed schooling in their home country and/or may consider themselves too old can qualify for University by taking a Foundation Studies course at one of the Universities who offer these courses.
  • Secondary Education

    Secondary Education

    New Zealand offers quality schooling at the secondary level. Secondary study is approximately five years long, from year 9 to year 13, and begins when students are 12 or 13 years old. New Zealand students must attend school until they are 16 years old.
  • Tertiary Education

    Tertiary Education

    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.
  • English Programs

    English Programs

    English language schools generally offer two types of courses: courses which do not give you a specific qualification, and courses which do.
  • Boarding Schools

    Boarding Schools

    Boarding schools in New Zealand are modelled extensively upon the English-speaking school system. Children start school at the age of 5 and leave school generally after 13 years
  • Study Costs

    Study Costs

    The cost of studying in a New Zealand English Language school is generally less than that of other English speaking countries. The above prices are a general guide only, English courses such as IELTS Preparation, English for Academic Purposes or Exam Preparation may cost slightly more than general English.


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Last Updated: 30 November 2009
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