New Zealand Education

Education in New Zealand follows the three-tier model which includes primary schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and/or polytechs.

The Programme for International Student Assessment ranks New Zealand’s education as the 7th best in the world.[5] The Education Index, published with the UN’s Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists New Zealand as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark, Finland and Australia.[6]

The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from late January until mid-December for primary schools, secondary schools, and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.

Offer of a place

An offer must include:

the education provider’s name and contact details

the name of the course and the minimum time required for completing it, and
proof that the course and course provider meet New Zealand’s requirements for international students, and
the amount of the fee for the complete course, or if the course is longer than one year, the annual fee, and

whether you have to pay course fees
whether the fees are domestic or foreign fees, and
whether you the study is full-time or part-time, and

confirmation all requirements under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students are met (including accommodation for under 18 year olds and course prerequisites).

See the detailed offer of place requirements of international students.

Your course must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Confirmation of enrolment

If you are returning to the same New Zealand education provider to continue a course of study (eg the second year of a three year Bachelor degree) you may provide a confirmation of enrolment from the education provider instead of an offer of a place, which includes:

the name of the course, and

the annual fee for the course, and

whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Evidence of funds to support yourself

To gain a student visa we want to see that you are able to meet your living costs during your stay.

Funding Requirements


Evidence may include:

enough money held in New Zealand by you, or on your behalf,

a financial undertaking to cover your accommodation and living costs,

sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs, or

financial assistance available to you under aid programmes operated in New Zealand by a government agency.

Courses less than nine months

If the course you intend to study lasts less than nine months, you will need to show us you have access to:

NZ$1,250 for each month of your stay less any prepaid living expenses (you will need to show us that you’ve paid).

Courses more than nine months

If the course you intend to study lasts more than nine months you’ll need to show us you have access to:

NZ$15,000 per year to cover your costs during your stay in New Zealand less any prepaid living expenses (you will need to show us that you’ve paid), or

Evidence of funds may be in the form of cash, travellers’ cheques, bank drafts, or a recognised credit card with enough credit.

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