In New Zealand
Make New Zealand Your Study Destination
Zealand is known for its scenic beauty. There is abundant beauty and
diversity in scenery, lifestyle and culture. International students
can expect a high standard of education and living conditions. English
being the everyday language of New Zealanders, there is strong English
Language support for international students. The institutions are
diverse in size and location and offer a wide range of general and
specialist courses. New Zealand has a British-style tradition of
Zealand has an international reputation as a provider of quality
education. It offers a safe learning environment with excellent study
opportunities and support services for international students. Courses
are available for academic, professional and vocational studies at
universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, secondary schools and
private training establishments.
New Zealand courses are available for academic, professional and
vocational studies at universities, polytechnics, colleges, secondary
schools and private training establishments. There are also a number of
English Language Institutes and private English Language Schools. The
following sections provide an overview of the New Zealand education
Many international students enrol at secondary schools for senior
studies in Years 11–13, aged 15–18 years in preparation for tertiary
studies in New Zealand or in other English-speaking countries. New
Zealand secondary schools provide a sound education to students aged
13-18 years. Some schools have classes for students aged 11 and 12 as
well. Most secondary schools are government-established but there are
also a number of other schools that have special philosophical or
religious traditions. These schools are either private or integrated
schools. Integrated schools were privately funded in the past, but are
now government funded.
5-12 Form 2
Ages : 13-18 Form
3 years of secondary education a school certificate is given and the
students join polytechnics and other specialized professional
5 years of secondary education the students appear for university
New Zealand has a superb education system and qualifications gained here
are accepted as equal to the best in the world. For more than one
hundred years it has had a state system which at the primary,
intermediate and secondary levels has been free, secular and compulsory.
At the same time there is a strong degree of tolerance which enables
communities to build and operate private schools along religious or
Schooling is compulsory from age 6 to 16, however, most students begin
school aged 5. All schools follow the NZ Curriculum.
New Zealand children begin their formal education before primary school.
Early childhood education is available to children under five years old
through a wide range of services, most of which are administered by
voluntary agencies with government assistance.
Education Act 1964 and subsequent amending legislation provides for free
education in state primary and secondary schools, and attendance is
compulsory until the age of 16 years (announced 1991) to take effect
from 1 January 1993.
as a second language
Many schools provide extra English tuition
for students who do not speak it as their first language.
Teachers are not allowed to hit, cane, slap or in any way physically
Many secondary schools have a school
uniform. This may be a blazer and tie or a school sweatshirt - it's up
to the school to decide. In some schools year 13 students don't have to
wear the school uniform
(generally from age of five to ten years)
Intermediate (usually from the age of 11 to 12 years)
Secondary (usually from the age of 13 to 17 years)
Tertiary (usually from 17/18 years onwards)
system identifies levels according to a students' number of years of
schooling. A child who starts school for the first time between 1
January and the July roll count is classified as being in Year 1. After
the first year, the student's year of schooling is increase by one at
the start of every school year.
Zealand Primary Schools.
New Zealand law requires all children aged six years and over to be at
school. Most begin as soon as they turn five. For the first three years
children are in junior classes, moving up a grade each year. After
leaving the juniors, most children have six more years at primary or
intermediate level where the curriculum covers English language (oral
and written, reading, handwriting and spelling), mathematics, science,
social sciences, the arts (including music), technology, and physical
health and well-being. At intermediate levels, workshop craft and home
economics are also studied. Maori language and culture is also taught
widely in schools. Schools operate competitive sports programmes, mainly
in cricket, athletics, netball, basketball, rugby and soccer. At the age
of 12 or 13 children move to secondary school.The school day usually
starts at 9.00am and finishes at 3.00pm. Breaks (intervals) occur at
mid-morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon.
school system - Intermediate schools
Most children in their seventh and eight years of schooling attend a
separate intermediate school, unless they live in a rural area. In some
rural areas "area" or "composite" schools combine
primary, intermediate and secondary schooling. Intermediate schools are
sometimes called Middle Schools or Junior High Schools.
purpose of Intermediate schools is to provide for the particular needs
of young adolescents ... They have the advantage of bringing together
and working with the largest group of Year 7 and 8 students. This
enables them to provide a range of specialist opportunities that may not
be possible for other types of schooling. In addition, school resources
are selected and purchased solely for students who attend that school
and there is therefore a greater chance of sufficiency and variety.
Zealand Secondary Schools.
New Zealand has some 440 secondary schools (also referred to as high
schools,grammar schools and colleges) which are state, integrated or
private, and which offer a wide range of subjects. Schools can set their
objectives within the national guidelines set by the Ministry of
Education. Most secondary schools are state
established but there are also a number of other schools that have
special philosophical or religious
traditions. These schools are either private or integrated
Students study for 5
years at secondary school
(also known as high
schools and colleges) beginning in Year 9 and finishing at the end of
13. Students are normally aged 13 years when they begin secondary
and finish when they are about 18 years of age. There are 440
schools throughout New Zealand. Although the largest schools have
2000 students the average school size is about 1000 students.The
day is about half an hour longer than the primary school day.
Zealand's tertiary education sector includes many different types of
educational institutions including:
or composite schools
are usually based in rural areas, combine primary, intermediate and
secondary schooling at one location.
Students with physical or other disabilities may enrol either at regular
schools or at a special school. The Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing
Schemes (ORRS) were introduced in 1997 to assist individuals with very
high or high special education needs. The schemes fund extra teaching,
specialist programming, therapy and education support for up to 7000
children. These students are not summarised separately in the following
tables but are included in the regular class totals.
Homeschooling is possible for those who prefer it, on the condition that
a standard of education similar to that available in a registered school
is provided. At 1 July 2000 there were 5,877 students involved in
The Correspondence School provides education for students who cannot
attend a school because they live in remote or inaccessible areas,
because they are overseas, or because of illness or other special
In the school sector an adult is defined as a student who is aged 19
years or over on 1 January of a year in which they attend school.
New Zealand has seven universities:
university offers courses in the arts, sciences and commerce and
specialises in other areas.
university sets outs the courses offered for the years in its
"calendar", which become available for purchase around
December each year from bookshops. The university year runs from March
to November. Term dates vary between universities.
university has its own requirements for entry.
university students must be able to speak and write in English - some
universities have a set level of competency.
Zealand has 25 polytechnics. They offer a range of internationally
recognised qualifications as full-time, part-time, night-time or weekend
courses. Many of the courses focus on business, trade or technology
skills. Many of the courses are not offered at universities, for example
plumbing and gasfitting or hairdressing. Polytechnics offer diploma and
polytechnic has a prospectus that describes its courses and fees.
of Education (known as "teachers" colleges) train people to
become teachers in early childhood education, primary and
secondary schools. There are colleges in Auckland, Palmerston North,
Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.
Zealand Qualifications Authority has accredited around 800 private
training establishments. They offer a wide range of programmes, which
lead to students obtaining nationally recognised qualifications. These
include English Language Schools.
Most schools are state (government) or public schools fully owned and
administered by the Ministry of Education.
Schools which have been integrated into the state system but have kept
their traditional religious and/or philosophical focus.
Privately owned and operated schools where all students are required to
pay tuition fees. A portion of the teachers salaries is paid by the
Government. These schools are also known as Independent Schools.
All schools teach the same or very similar subjects and curriculum as
set by the Ministry of Education and all schools are regularly
reviewed and audited by the Ministry. All schools can accept
international students and have their own international student
is available for parents who want to educate their children at home
provided they maintain a standard of education equivalent to that of a
registered school. Parents need to obtain approval from the Ministry of
Education to homeschool their children during the years of compulsory
schooling (between 6-16 years), and are given an annual grant to help
with the cost of learning materials.
July 2000 there were 5,877 homeschoolers recorded on the Ministry of
Education's homeschooling database, which represented less than 1
percent of total school enrolments. These students belonged to 3,309
school provides distance learning for more than 18,000 students across
New Zealand.Students may live a long way from their nearest school, live
overseas, study with correspondence school for medical reasons or
have special needs. Secondary students may also enrol in specific
subjects if these are not available at thei regular school.
school provides over 300 courses from new entrants to adults seeking to
continue education at secondary level . They also offer programmes in
early childhood and some specialist adult education courses, such as
English for speakers of other languages.
of Students by Region
largest percentage roll growth occurred in Auckland and
Nelson/Marlborough where rolls increased by 2.1% (4,390 students) and
0.9% (210 students) respectively. The Auckland Region continues to have
the largest increase in terms of student numbers. In the five years
since March 1996, the school population in the Auckland Region has risen
by 21,451 students (nearly 11%).
greatest percentage decrease in rolls occurred in Southland and the West
Coast Region, where rolls fell by 2.2% (321 students) and 2.1% (129
students) respectively. In terms of student numbers, Manawatu/Wanganui
sustained the greatest decrease - 566 students (1.3%) since March 1999.
students who wish to study at a New Zealand school can get information
about fees, courses of study and academic entry requirements from the
New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in their home country. They can
also apply directly to the school they wish to attend.
Academic entrance requirements and fees are set by individual schools.
Some schools allow for annual fees to be paid by installment.
Student permits and visas
A foreign student must have a student permit to study in a New Zealand
school for three months or longer. The New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS)
is the government authority responsible for issuing New Zealand entry
visas and permits to study here.
Information on immigration regulations and requirements is available
from New Zealand Embassies and High Commissions overseas. This
information is also available from the New Zealand Immigration Service,
which has offices in some main city centres in New Zealand and 15
offices in other countries.
Students applying for enrolment from overseas need a written guarantee
of suitable accommodation before a student visa can be granted. They
must also be able to show that they have enough funds to support them
during their stay in New Zealand.
Usually schools offering study places will be able to make home stay
arrangements for students, or they may provide hostel or boarding
accommodation at the school.
Deciding on a school
Most children attend the school closest to where they live. These are
usually listed in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory. Parents
and caregivers can enroll their children at any state school of their
choice. However, if a school has too many children wishing to enroll,
the Ministry of Education may allow a school to operate an enrolment
scheme to prevent over-crowding. An enrolment scheme must contain a
'home zone' with clearly defined boundaries. Students who live within
the home zone have an absolute right to enroll at the school. Students
living outside the zone can still apply to enroll, but if there are more
applicants than available places, a ballot will be held to determine who
can enroll. Brothers and sisters of current and former students and
children of board employees have a higher priority for the out-of-zone
Parents or caregivers can telephone the schools they are interested in
and ask to visit. They can ask to see the latest Education Review Office
report, which is available to the public, or get a copy from the local
Education Review Office or the Education Review Office's web site:
Many schools have a prospectus or brochure that sets out their ideals
and what the school offers its students. Schools also have a school
charter and you can ask to see a copy.
be enrolled in a New Zealand school from their fifth birthday.
All children in New Zealand must attend school from their
Once parents and caregivers
have decided on a school they are encouraged to visit to fill
in an enrolment form before the child's first day. They are
then given information about school opening hours and how
the school operates. Often this visit provides parents and
caregivers with the opportunity to meet the principal.
Once children are enrolled, they and their parents and caregivers
become part of the school community and have many opportunities
to be involved in its activities.
If a child needs to change schools
it is important to let the present school know as soon as
possible. Once the child is enrolled at a new school all their
personal records may be sent from the previous school.
Children changing to a new level of schooling, such as intermediate
or secondary, will have information sent home with them telling
parents and caregivers what they need to do.
Where there is a choice of schools, information will be provided
about each option. Sometimes an information evening is arranged
by the present school to explain these options more fully.
Most intermediate and secondary schools hold open days so
students and their parents and caregivers can see what they
have to offer.
March 2000 there were 6,304 foreign fee-paying (FFP) students and 283
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) funded students attending
New Zealand schools. There were 1,633 more foreign fee-paying students
than in 1999. This 26% increase shows a recovery of the losses sustained
in 1998 and 1999 (8.5% and 0.6% respectively) and an increase of nearly
23% (1,170 students) from the high of 5,134 FFP students in 1997. MFAT
funded students numbers decreased by 38 (13.4%) in the year to 1 March
reported that at 1 March 2000 there were 6,383 students receiving
funding under the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS). Of these, 4,566
students (72%) were identified as having high needs, while 1,817 (28%)
had very high needs. A further 294 students under the age of seven were
receiving funding under the Transitional Resourcing Scheme (TRS).
the ORS students, 793 high needs students and 779 very high needs
students attended special schools. Thirty-seven TRS students also
attended special schools.
are also categorized as:
Co-education (or co-ed) - mixed sex
Single Sex - either boys only or girls only
Some schools may be, for example, single-sex boys schools but also have
girls in the senior school and this is an increasing trend. On average
single-sex schools have a very good academic record and about 25% of all
students attend single-sex schools.
Most schools in New Zealand are part of the state system. While there is
no legal requirement to pay fees at state schools, it is usual for
parents to pay some fees/donations and charges. In general a child can
attend any state school even one that is not the closest to where they
Although most students attend state-funded schools, parents,
caregivers and students have other options.
of these types may have authority to operate enrolment schemes if there
are likely to be more applicants for enrolment at the school than there
are places available. Enrolment schemes at these schools do not have to
include a home zone or provide for a ballot.
integrated school is a school with a special (religious) character,
which has been integrated into the State system. Every integrated school
has a maximum roll which it is not allowed to exceed. First of all an
integrated school has to cater for students who meet the school's
special character requirements. If there is room left, the school is
able to enrol a set small number of students who do not meet the special
Kaupapa Maori is a State school where teaching is in the Maori language
and the school's aims, purposes and objectives reflect the Te Aho Matua
philosophy. Kura Kaupapa Maori are able to restrict enrolments to the
children of parents who accept the kura's aims, purposes and objectives.
Designated Character School is a State school with a particular
character, but different from integrated schools and kura kaupapa Maori.
These schools are able to restrict enrolments to the children of parents
who accept the school's aims, purposes and objectives.
The Academic year extends from late
February or early March to November. The long summer vacation is from
mid-November to mid-February. All universities except Canterbury operate
a 2-semester system, with intakes into both semesters in some programs.
This provides for 12-13 weeks of teaching in the first half-year,
followed by examinations and study break from early June and early July,
then 12-13 further weeks of teaching, followed again by several weeks of
examinations. Each semester is itself in 2 parts, separated by study
break of 1 or 2 weeks. Canterbury has a 4-term year with a 3 week
examination period in June and breaks of 2-3 weeks between terms. There
are some vacation courses for degrees although postgraduate research
students continue work all year round.
school year has four terms. Students have a six-week summer holiday and
three two-week breaks between each of the four terms. Actual dates vary
from school to school but the terms generally run from:
Term 1 Monday 28 January to Thursday 28
Term 2 Monday 15 April to Friday 28 June 2002
Term 3 Monday 15 July to Friday 20 September 2002
Term 4 Monday 7 October to Friday 19 December 2002
conclude, New Zealand education system is regarded as one of the best
education systems in the world .New Zealand's education system is
disciplined yet relaxed, competitive yet team supportive, these characteristics,
have transformed New Zealand into a popular destination for overseas
students seeking prime education.
are the useful links to have more information on New Zealand Education