Outstanding Quality of Education in New Zealand

New Zealand education follows the British education system; it aims to cultivate students’ creativity and innovation ability, and is known as modern and practical. New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. New Zealand education is student-centred and is focused on supporting students to problem-solving, process information, work with others, create and innovate.

New Zealand’s education system has three levels; early childhood education, school education and tertiary education. New Zealand education system is designed to recognize different abilities, religious beliefs ethnic groups and ideas about teaching and learning. New Zealand has strong quality assurance systems which ensure consistent high quality education across all levels of the education system, both public and private.

N.Z. Education System

  • Primary education, Year1-8

  • Secondary Education, Year 9-13

  • Foundation Studies (optional)

  • Undergraduate, 3-4 years

  • Graduate diploma, 1-2 years

  • Postgraduate, 1-4 years

  • PhD, 2-4 years

School Application Process

The English language courses starts on a weekly basis except the exam courses and university pathway study. You will need to pass an English test before you can enroll in those exam courses.

The university application takes approximately 3-6 months to process. You will need to provide yuor academic records in your home country as well as your English ability. Each university requires slightly different information, NZEStar can assist you with your university application.

The high school application is usually based on each school term. The start and finish date of each school is also a little different. For students who would like to start from its new academic year in February, it is recommended to apply for schools at least 3 months before the new year.

Required documents

  1. Valid for more than 6 months passport
  2. Academic transcripts
  3. Students enrolled for more than three months of study in New Zealand are required to apply for a student visa.

Documents required for student visa application

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Two of the passport photos
  3. Offer of Place from school
  4. Receipt of the school fees
  5. Financial proof
  6. Medical examinations
  7. Accommodation proof
  8. Police certificate

Children may start school at age five and the majority do so, although schooling is not compulsory until age six. Primary education starts at Year 1 and continues until Year 8, with Years 7 and 8 mostly offered at either a primary, or a separate intermediate school. Primary education focuses on strong foundation learning, especially in literacy and numeracy.

Secondary education covers Years 9 to 13 (ages 13 to 18/19). State secondary schools are usually known as secondary schools, high schools or colleges. In secondary schools the timetable is arranged around subjects, and although students continue to experience a broad and balanced curriculum, some specialisation is possible especially in Years 11 to 13. Students are provided with professional career information and guidance. Secondary students may begin courses of a more vocational nature while at school but there is no direct separation of programmes into academic and vocational streams. Entry to work or further study (eg. university) is not limited by the type of secondary school a student attends.

Tertiary education includes all post-secondary education including higher and vocational education. It is the third level of education and is delivered by both state and privately owned institutions.

New Zealand has eight public state-funded universities. All are well-recognised internationally, have strong international connections and collaborate with universities in other countries on a range of research and teaching programmes.

The academic year for most tertiary providers starts in February and finishes in November. It is most often divided into two semesters but a third, ‘summer’, semester is becoming increasingly popular.

There are many language schools in New Zealand. Most schools offer general English, exam courses and some schools also offer university pathway courses.

Primary Schools

Secondary Schools

Universities / Tertiary Education

Technical Institutes

Language Schools

New Zealand Government Education Authorities