New Zealand’s tertiary education system has moderate entry requirements compared to the US and UK, yet their qualifications are recognised equally around the world.
A recent period of heavy investment in New Zealand’s universities and colleges means they are able to offer students a diverse range of courses and qualifications to international students.
For international students in New Zealand who require a practical and highly specialised education, professional certificates and technical schools are an excellent choice.
There are over 600 institutions offering these courses throughout New Zealand, and popular programs include electrical, plumbing, secretarial, and civil engineering. The courses take between eighteen months and two years to complete and often include apprenticeships and internships.
An Associate’s degree is a good option if you are unsure about certain aspects of your chosen path in higher education. They are ranked higher than a technical school program or professional certificate but lower than a bachelor’s degree, and typically last only two years – half the time of a Bachelor’s degree – and once completed can be turned into a full Bachelor’s degree with a year or two of extra study.
A New Zealand Bachelor’s degree is similar to those studied by UK students as it takes only three years to complete. This is because the New Zealand tertiary education system does not require students to take US style minor courses in addition to their primary degree.
Every class on a New Zealand Bachelor’s degree contains material relevant to your course, so time isn’t wasted on general studies or additional qualifications. At the end of your studies you may also choose to add a further year onto your course to achieve an Honours award.
To gain entry onto the undergraduate courses in New Zealand an international student must satisfy criteria set out by each institution. Most colleges and universities require an educational equivalent of the University Entrance standard studied in New Zealand secondary schools, such as the International Baccalaureate or United Kingdom A-Levels. If you have already completed a university degree at a recognised institution this may also qualify you for a place.
Students whose first language is not English will also be required to prove their proficiency in the language, and this can be done by taking IELTS or TOEFL tests. Most universities will have a minimum score which you need to achieve to qualify for a place.
If you need further advice on the entry requirements and options available for undergraduate education in New Zealand, contact our expert team at IEC Abroad for more tailored advice.