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The education system in New Zealand is quite simple and is divided into various stages. This is very convenient, as it allows you to gradually move along the educational ladder and at the same time retain the possibility of flexible choice.


Children have the opportunity to go to kindergartens from birth and up to 5 or 6 years of age, until they go to school. At the same time, from 3 to 5 years, all children have the opportunity to attend kindergartens for free up to 20 hours a week, as it is subsidized by the government. For the rest, a child’s kindergarten attendance costs NZ $ 7-10 per hour.
– More information about pre-school education 


A distinctive feature is that a child can start school immediately after 5 turning years of age, and does not necessarily have to wait for the beginning of the next semester. At the same time, compulsory school education begins at 6 years of age. New Zealand schools teach children for 12-13 years, depending on their further plans for vocational training. For children of citizens, residents and holders of working visas in New Zealand, public schools are free of charge, and for foreign students, schools cost NZ $ 12,000 per year.
– More about school education


In New Zealand, there are several types of universities that offer professional education for their students. The state partially subsidizes higher education, so residents and citizens of New Zealand pay only about NZ $ 7,000 per year, whereas for international students, study costs more.

  • Universities
    This is the most prestigious and high-quality, as well as more academic type of education, but also the most expensive training for foreigners, with an average cost of NZ $ 25,000-35,000 per year.
  • State institutions; Polytechnics
    This is practical and applied, as well as quality and tested education, for foreign students it costs NZ $ 15,000-25,000 per year.
  • Private institutions; Colleges. 
    This is also a practical education, usually more accessible than in public universities, except for highly specialized universities, such as world-class design colleges. The cost of education for an international student in private universities (colleges) of New Zealand costs an average of NZ $ 8000-15000 per year.

– More on the differences in New Zealand universities 


Vocational education is structured and divided into 10 levels. Each level implies the accumulation of a certain number of Credits (analogous to the training hours for a particular subject). For the academic year, an average of about 120 Credits is a pass. For admission to a higher level, as a rule, the presence of a previous level of education in the same or similar professional sphere is required. Confirmation of the passing of a subject occurs in the form of a test, exam or writing Assignment (analogue of the course work).

  • Certificates Levels 1-4 (40-240 Credits, 3-24 months)
    Analog: initial special education.
    Level of knowledge: basic specialized knowledge.
    Requirements for the student: responsibility and ability to communicate with people.
  • Diplomas Levels 5-6 (120-240 Credits, 1-2 years)
    Analog: special education.
    Level of knowledge: a wide range of practical, technical and theoretical knowledge used in work or study.
    Requirements for the student: completed secondary education.
  • Bachelor Degree (360-480 Credits, 3-4 years)
    Analogue: bachelor’s degree or specialty.
    Level of knowledge: in-depth technical and theoretical knowledge from a professional environment or study.
    Requirements for the student: completed secondary education and preparatory year, or 1 year at the university (12 years of study in total).
  • Graduate Diplomas and Certificates Level 7 (60-120 Credits, 6-12 months)
    Analog: confirmation of qualification, dual qualification or retraining.
    Level of knowledge: skills and knowledge from a new professional field, but on the basis of previous education.
    Requirements for the student: a completed bachelor’s degree, or special education and work experience.
  • Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates, Bachelor Degree with Honors Level 8 (60-120 Credits, 6-12 months)
    Analogue: improvement of existing qualifications or bachelor’s degree with distinction.
    Level of knowledge: advanced technical and theoretical knowledge.
    Requirements for the student: a completed bachelor’s degree, or special education and work experience.
  • Masters Degree Level 9 (120-240 Credits, 1-2 years)
    Analogue: Master or MBA.
    Level of knowledge: highly specialized advanced knowledge.
    Requirements for the student: completed bachelor’s degree and work experience.
  • Doctoral Degree Level 10 (360-480 Credits, 3-4 years)
    Analog: professors and doctors of sciences.
    Level of knowledge: the most advanced and scientific knowledge in a professional environment.
    Acquired skills: rapid comprehension of existing knowledge and practices, as well as the development of new ones.
    Requirements for the student: completed bachelor’s degree and experience in scientific research.

Description of the education system in New Zealand on the official website of NZQA 


For admission to study in New Zealand, you need to get an invitation from the chosen university, and then correctly draw up all the necessary documents for obtaining a student visa. Kiwi Education helps with these processes for free, so you only need to fill out our questionnaire at the end of the article, after which our managers will select the best options for you and help with all the documents.
– More about student visa to New Zealand 


Most graduates of New Zealand universities successfully find employment after graduation. The most difficult is usually the search for the first job, although most often this stage is successfully overcome by young specialists. With work experience in New Zealand, permanent employment becomes even more real.
To that, if you finish one year of study at levels 7 or higher, or if you graduate in New Zealand over two years of study to levels 4-6, you can get an open work visa for a graduate for a year (Post Study Work Visa), which in the future you can also extend for another two years if you find a job in your specialisation.
– More on Post Study Work Visa 
– More on how to really find a job in New Zealand 

For all questions regarding study in New Zealand, contact Kiwi Education.

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