There’s an extensive range of courses to choose from, at schools, universities, institutes of technology and private training schools.
School education in New Zealand covers Years 1 to 13 - age range from 5 to 17.
Years 1 to 8 (ages 5 to 12) are spent at primary school, although some children spend years 7 and 8 in intermediate schools.
Secondary school (also known as high school or college) is for teens aged from around 13 to 17 or 18.
New Zealand has nearly 2,600 schools. Most children (86%) attend state schools which are publicly owned and Government funded.
Other options are ‘state integrated’ (operated as a state school but with a particular religious or philosophical perspective) and private schools of which there are about 100.
Tertiary: universities, institutes of technology or polytechnics
There are eight universities. Their programmes are generally academic, as distinct from vocational.
All New Zealand’s universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral (PhD) degrees in commerce, science and the humanities.
A number of universities have more than one campus, often located in different cities, and some have overseas programmes.
New Zealand also has 18 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs). They provide professional and vocational education and training ranging from introductory studies through to full degree programmes. Many ITPs also offer English language training and postgraduate study options, including up to Doctoral (PhD) level.
Courses are more vocationally oriented, emphasising practical experience and application to work situations. A degree from one of these institutions has equal status with a university degree.
Tertiary: Private Training Institutions and English language schools
You also have the choice of 600 registered Private Training Establishments (PTEs). PTE courses are generally specific to English language learning or niche occupations such as travel and tourism, design and ICT. Most PTEs provide certificate and diploma level qualifications, but some also deliver Bachelor and Masters degrees.
Most private institutions have flexible start dates throughout the year.
Many international students enrol in English for Academic Study courses prior to formal academic studies. Special English language courses are available throughout the year, and range from four weeks to 12 months.
Students who are competent in English often do short-term foundation studies or pre-university orientation studies at PTEs or universities.