Why New Zealand?

  • New Zealand follows British education system
  • Outstanding & highly respected qualifications
  • Innovative teaching methods and technology
  • Universities in the Top 500 worldwide rankings (Times Higher Education Supplement)
  • Personalized learning in a range of class settings and sizes
  • Beautiful region with remarkable scenic beauty and modern, dynamic culture that makes the country a great place to study

Location and Geography

New Zealand is an island country situated about 2,000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It has two main islands (North Island and South Island) and a number of smaller islands. The South Island is the largest land mass and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. The North Island is less mountainous but marked by volcanism.

New Zealand, with a total area of 268,680 sq. kms, is comparable in size to Great Britain, Japan, or Colorado. Its closest neighbors to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Its capital city is Wellington, the southernmost national capital in the world.


New Zealand has four distinct seasons but a mild climate characterizes most of the country, along with fairly high regional rainfall but also lots of sunshine. New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where tropical rainforests, sunny coastline, alpine mountains and a variety of flora and fauna are found within a relatively close distance of each other. History and Population

Living Conditions and Cost of Living

New Zealand provides good living conditions due to its thriving economy, low crime rate, and relative lack of congestion and poverty. International indexes consistently place New Zealand high on their lists of good quality of life.

Housing in New Zealand is often more reasonable than that found in many parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. The government is active in supporting immigration, which includes helping people find good homes and suitable living conditions for their budgets.

Education System

New Zealand follows the three-tier model of primary, secondary, and tertiary or post-secondary. This generally includes universities, private institutions, colleges, and polytechnics. New Zealand’s educational institutions offer quality secondary school education, a well-established network of English-language schools, and internationally respected and recognised tertiary education providers. Post-secondary education is regulated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

As well as state-owned education providers, there are approximately 860 private training establishments (PTEs) in New Zealand. They are privately owned and funded, although some of their courses attract government funding and they include quality English-language providers. They offer a wide variety of courses that lead to qualifications in a large range of vocations from scuba diving to hospitality to business. NZQA requires that Private Training Establishments (PTEs) have adequate protection of student fees and tuition.

Polytechnics offer education and training at tertiary levels ranging from introductory studies through to full degree programmes. They deliver technical, vocational, and professional education. There are 23 polytechnics or institutes of technology in New Zealand.

The National Qualifications Framework is a system of national qualifications available through study in schools, polytechnics, colleges of education, etc. The Framework provides nationally recognised, consistent standards and qualifications. The Framework is endorsed and supported by New Zealand’s education and training providers, employers and national industry and professional groups. It is compatible with similar systems in the U.K., Europe, South Africa, Australia, and North America.

Specific Information for International Students

Education institutions must meet stringent criteria in accordance with the Immigration Act 1987. All students must have a confirmation of enrolment before applying for a visa. New Zealand’s immigration laws prevent an international student from studying at a private provider that has not been registered with the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) or a course that is not NZQA approved.

If the student wishes to undertake a course which is less than three months, they can apply for a visitor’s visa. All courses of three months or longer require a student visa. The conditions of student visas vary but may allow a student to undertake some form of work as stated in their visa conditions.

Related Links for more information:

www.tourismnewzealand.com General information
www.newzealand.com General information
www.minedu.govt.nz Ministry of Education
educationcounts.govt.nz Education Counts
www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers/index.do Education Organisation Details
www.nzqa.govt.nz/for-providers/index.html Quality Assurance Framework
www.nzqa.govt.nz/index.html New Zealand Qualifications Authority
www.nzqa.govt.nz/framework/about.html National Qualifications Framework
www.fulbright.org.nz/studynz/uni.html The New Zealand University System
www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/study Immigration New Zealand
www.stats.govt.nz Statistics New Zealand
www.mfat.govt.nz Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
www.lgnz.co.nz Local Governments New Zealand
www.uni-care.org.nz Travel and medical insurance
www.educationnz.org.nz Education New Zealand
www.newzealandeducated.com Information on living, working, and studying in New Zealand
www.educationpages.co.nz New Zealand’s leading online education directory