New Zealand has an impressive higher education system. The country hosts eight universities in total, all of which are included in the top 500 in the QS World University Rankings 2018. In addition to these universities, there are 18 technology and polytechnic institutes. These institutions help students to develop vocational skills through more practical and hands-on experiences.
Overall, in the Education System Strength Rankings of 2016, New Zealand placed 16th. As a rather small country, with a population estimated at 4.7 million, this is a significant achievement. High quality in education is achieved through the implementation of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
One of the most attractive features of higher education in New Zealand is the class size. Classes are small, which allows for high levels of tutor/student interaction and mentoring.
Why Study in New Zealand
New Zealand offers international students a high-quality experience. With its picturesque landscape, endless outdoor adventures, friendly locals and reputable educational institutions, New Zealand is an excellent choice for undergraduate and postgraduate study. Depending on your choice of location, vibrant cities, outdoor pursuits and cultural excursions will ensure your life outside of university is as busy and diverse as your studies!
New Zealand Culture and Lifestyle
New Zealander’s are well known for their laid back approach to life and are globally regarded as a welcoming and friendly nation. Rugby is a hugely important part of the culture in New Zealand. It is ingrained in its society and culture, and New Zealand is known to host many of the world’s most well-regarded rugby teams.
Maori culture is also a big part of life in New Zealand. Maoris are the indigenous people of New Zealand and their culture influences the day-to-day life there. The Maori language is also present in New Zealand, and you may hear the same place referred to by two different names – the Maori name and the English name.
Unlike other countries, New Zealand is separated into two parts; the North Island and the South Island. It is possible to travel between the two, normally by a 3 ½ hour ferry ride. The largest cities are Auckland and Wellington in the North Island and Christchurch in the South. In 2017, Auckland was ranked 8th on the Global Liveability Ranking 2017, scoring 95.7 out of 100.
Top New Zealand Universities
In the QS World University Rankings 2021, the eight New Zealand universities that ranked in the global top 500 were:
• Auckland University of Technology
• Massey University
• Lincoln University
• University of Waikato
• University of Canterbury
• Victoria University of Wellington
• University of Otago
• University of Auckland
The University of Auckland
This is New Zealand’s highest ranking university, achieving 85th place in the QS World University Rankings 2021. As the largest university in New Zealand, it has a student population of over 40,000 students; 7000 of whom are international students from 120 countries around the world. The university, located in the harbour city of Auckland, has been voted one of the top 30 best student cities by QS in 2017.
University of Otago
Known for being New Zealand’s first university, Otago was established in 1869. Otago University is in the city of Dunedin, the second largest city in the South Island. The university is internationally reputed for its excellence and ranked at 175 in the 2021 QS World University Rankings. There are over 195 undergraduate and postgraduate courses available across Health Sciences, Sciences, Humanities and Business.
Victoria University of Wellington
Located in Wellington, Victoria University is ranked as the number one university in New Zealand, and often ranks among the world’s best universities. In the 2017/18 QS World University Rankings, it placed 219th, while also receiving a five-star University rating across all eight categories assessed. Top subjects to study at Victoria include Law, Archaeology, English, and History, which are all ranked in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Due to its location, the university benefits from its close proximity to and relations with the government, international agencies, environmental organisations, and research institutes.
Popular Courses in New Zealand
• Graduate Diploma in Information Technology
• Graduate Diploma in Animation
• National Diploma in Science
• Graduate Diploma in Lab Technology
• Post Graduate Diploma of Computer Graphic Design
• Master of Business Administration
• Master of Professional Accounting
• PG Diploma in Agricultural Science
Fees for International Students
Unlike other places around the world where fees are more standard across the country, tuition fee rate in New Zealand is set by individual institutions. Therefore the fees vary greatly and are dependent on the institution at which you are studying, as well as the subject that you choose. Generally, degrees in the arts and social sciences are cheapest, with science and engineering programmes costing more.
Tuition fees for foreign students are greater than those for domestic students, although there are occasions when fees for international students are dropped, such as on PhD programs. For international students, tuition fees typically range between NZ$22,000 and NZ$32,000 for bachelor’s degrees and NZ$26,000 to NZ$37,000 for postgraduate courses. However, a dentistry or medicine degree can have fees of up to NZ$75,000. These charges are per annum.