Tertiary Education In New Zealand


New Zealand has eight universities. All offer general undergraduate and graduate degrees and diplomas in arts, sciences and commerce, as well as specialist degrees in particular disciplines. Please contact Kiwi Education for more details.

Undergraduate degrees such as a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or a BSc (Bachelor of Science) usually take three years to complete. Vocational or professional training may take longer.

Each university publishes an annual Calendar detailing the terms, entry requirements, fees and courses scheduled for the academic year. This information is also made available on university websites. Term dates and fees vary between universities. The reference sections of most public libraries hold copies of the latest Calendars. These can also be purchased from leading booksellers and university bookshops.

All university students must be able to speak English and some universities have a set level of competency.


New Zealand has 20 polytechnics and institutes of technology offering a wide range of academic, vocational and professional courses. As well as three- and four-year degrees, polytechnics also offer short full-time and part-time courses. These courses are scheduled throughout the year.

Each polytechnic publishes an annual Prospectus detailing the courses scheduled during the academic year. Fees and entry requirements are also included in the Prospectus.

Industry Training Organisations (ITOs)

These organisations provide on-the-job training in many industries. Industry Training concentrates on workplace learning that raises skills and provides nationally recognised qualifications. Workplace learning can be on-job, off-job by a registered training provider, or a combination of both. There are 41 Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) around the country, established by particular industries or groups of industries. Industry training is also a useful way of gaining New Zealand experience by upskilling in your chosen trade. For more information, visit The Industry Training Federation (ITF).

Colleges of education/Teacher training colleges

In New Zealand, a recent trend has seen colleges of education (or ‘teacher training colleges’) merge with universities in their respective areas. Auckland, Waikato, Massey and Victoria Universities already offer teacher training and Christchurch and Dunedin Colleges of Education plan to merge with Canterbury and Otago Universities for the 2007 academic year. A number of polytechnics and private training establishments also run teaching courses, but not a comprehensive range of teacher training programmes.

Private Training Establishments

There are several thousand private training establishments in New Zealand offering a wide range of courses, although most tend to specialise in particular subjects. Over 900 are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and a small number offer degrees. About a quarter are Maori owned and operated.

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