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  • 16 December 2020
  • News

Amid the pandemic and closed borders, more and more New Zealand universities have begun to design blended programs that can be started online and continued in New Zealand when the borders open. This format raises a lot of questions, so let’s see how it works, what are the benefits of online learning, and if there are any risks.

In this article:

Online Study

Eligibility for a work visa after graduation

The most common question our clients ask is: If I complete part of the course online, will I lose the right to the Post Study Work Visa upon graduation?

According to immigration rules, the Post Study Work Visa is issued if a student has studied onshore for 30 weeks (1 academic year) on a program of level 7 or higher or 60 weeks (2 academic years) on a level 4-6 program. Thus, online education is more suitable for those students whose program lasts longer than 1 year. For example, these are master’s programs lasting 1.5 years. You can study it online for 6 months + 1 year in New Zealand, and after graduation, you can get a Post Study Work Visa. There are also 3-year undergraduate degrees, where you can study online for one year + 2 years in New Zealand.


What will happen if you have studied online for six months, and the borders have not yet been opened by that time?

The study will not go in vain. If a student is enrolled in a master’s program, after 6 months of study, they receive a Postgraduate Certificate Level 8. This is already considered a complete and independent qualification, so here you can pause in your studies, wait for the borders to open and continue studying for Masters in New Zealand.

If you come to study at the same university, the subjects already passed will be cross-credited, and the duration of the master’s program will be 1 year.

If you choose another university, the completed training can be credited to the new course and reduce the cost and duration of training. In other words, you can just take a break and come when the borders open, and your past training will be taken into account in the future.


What happens if you are declined a student visa even after studying online?

Unfortunately, the online study does not guarantee the issuance of a visa. But in this case, you will also have a document on either completed New Zealand education (Postgraduate Certificate), or a certificate of completion of part of the course (when studying at the Bachelor’s degree).

The course completion document can be used to apply for a new visa (for example, six months or a year later, when you can fix the circumstances that were the reasons for decline), or to enrol any other university in the world, or to upgrade your career.

According to our experience with Immigration New Zealand, taking such online training does not guarantee a successful visa decision. Still, it significantly increases the chances, since it shows the seriousness of your intentions, and the officers will definitely pay attention to this.


Each university and program may have its own format. In some universities, education is mostly self-directed – students get access to materials and assignments that can be completed at any convenient time.

Once a fortnight, a student gets a one-to-one Zoom consultation with a teacher. In this case, you discuss a convenient time for a call directly with them. As for language courses, there may be a schedule. You can see this information for each course in our selection below.


Saving money on living in New Zealand

It is about NZ$ 7,500 for six months at a minimum. But in fact, it can be much more, since New Zealand is an expensive country to live in.

Saving money on flights

Air traffic around the world is still quite limited, so if the borders are open, a pricy flight to New Zealand can cost twice more than usual.

You can also save on quarantine

If you don’t want to spend money on a two-week quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand (which costs NZ$ 3,000 per person), you can wait until this whole situation with coronavirus is over, and the quarantine is cancelled. Unfortunately, no one knows when this will happen. But your certificate that you received online will always be with you, and you can continue your studies at any time.

Many universities offer discounts on their online programs, so there is a chance to save on course fees as well.

Save time

The online format allows you not to wait for the opening of borders, but to start training right now. The earlier you start, the sooner you finish and receive a post study work visa.

Some programs, such as NMIT, are available for both part-time and full-time study. That is, you can choose a pace and workload that is comfortable for you. However, with part-time training, the study period can be extended. Offline programs in New Zealand can be completed only full-time.

You do not need to obtain a student visa to study online. Of course, you will need to get it later to enter the country, but for now, these unpleasant efforts can be postponed.

You can study comfortably from your home country. You will not have to quit your job and break social ties, as it usually happens when moving to another country.

Note that studying in New Zealand involves a lot of independent work and writing assignments, so you still need to devote much time for it.


English language

It can be either a general English course or IELTS preparation. In some universities, you can get an NZCEL certificate that will allow you to enrol a diploma program without IELTS.

Foundation courses

For example, it can be a Foundation Course for graduates of overseas schools who plan to study at New Zealand universities. Or it can be an introductory program for acquaintance with the fundamental knowledge of the chosen field. Thus, if you have not studied design before, you can take a short course, which will allow you to enrol a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in this speciality.

Professional education

Due to the specifics of issuing work visas at the end, the most relevant will be the Masters and Bachelor programs lasting longer than a year. There is also a choice among one-year programs. Specialities can be completely different: business, management, marketing, logistics, design, information technology and others.



Mainstream programs and Foundation course



Language school Kiwi English Academy

Schedule: Tuesday-Thursday from 7 pm to 9 pm New Zealand time.

Start dates: February 2, March 9, April 13

Cost: NZ $ 360 for a 4-week course.

Conversation Class

For those who want to improve their speaking skills, improve fluency and correct pronunciation.

Schedule: Saturday 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm New Zealand time.

Start dates: February 2, March 9, April 13

Cost: NZ $ 300 for a 4-week course.

Private lessons

One-on-one lessons with a school teacher. You can take it with two friends/family members, but you must have the same English level.

Schedule: agreed with each individual client

Cost: NZ $ 60 per hour – one person, NZ $ 70 per hour – two people (NZ $ 35 each), NZ $ 75 per hour – three people (NZ $ 25 each).


AUT University

IELTS preparation

An intensive IELTS exam preparation course with group and one-to-one Zoom lessons and self-directed study. Plus access to the AUT library and one-to-one sessions with a tutor to check your learning progress.

The duration of the course is 12 weeks or more. The student may not be attached for 12 weeks. You can independently take a course from 2 weeks or more.


Monday-Thursday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (group session) 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm (Skill Support. Tutor consultation and skill practice), Friday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (group session). Small classes from 8 to 12 people.

Use the time converter to see the class times in your area.

Start date

Beginning and end of each month.

The cost

NZ $ 5,460 for 12 weeks or NZ $ 920 for 2 weeks.

Plus NZ $ 110 Registration Fee, NZ $ 160 Course Material (paid once).

Requirements for admission

IELTS 4.5 or equivalent. You can also join the course if your level corresponds to IELTS 4.0, but most likely, the classes will seem difficult for you.

GIE Program

An intensive 12-week full-time course for those who want to enrol in a mainstream program, or in other words university pathway.

Schedule: First Class – Monday-Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm New Zealand time, Second class – Monday-Thursday from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.

Start dates: January 5, March 29, June 21, September 13

Cost: NZ $ 5976 for 12 weeks + NZ $ 110 registration fee


ELA English Language Academy

The school is affiliated with the University of Auckland and provides online classes in Academic and General English, as well as language programs allowing to enter undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Schedule: Monday-Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:15 pm New Zealand time.

Start dates:

  • Academic English – January 25, April 12, June 28, September 13, November 22
  • General English – February 15, March 15, April 12, May 3, May 31, June 28, July 19, August 16, September 13, September 27, October 26, November 22, December 13
  • University pathway – January 25, April 12, June 28, September 13, November 22


  • Academic English – NZ $ 5,300 (10 weeks course)
  • General English – NZ $ 475 per week for up to 11 weeks, NZ $ 460 per week for over 12 weeks
  • University pathway – NZ $ 5,515 (10 weeks course).


ICL Institute

The excellent Auckland School provides online English language courses:

  • IELTS preparation (Part-time study)
  • NZCEL Level 4 and 5 (Full-time study)
  • NZCEL Preparation (Full-time study)
  • APA EAP 1 and 2 (Full-time study)


Monday-Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm New Zealand time.


  • IELTS Preparation – NZ $ 320 per week
  • NZCEL Level 4 – NZ $ 4,420 for 16 weeks
  • NZCEL Level 5 – NZ $ 4,520 for 16 weeks
  • NZCEL Preparation – NZ $ 180 per week
  • APA EAP 1 and 2 – NZ $ 3,600 for 10 weeks and NZ $ 5,504 for 16 weeks


Otago Polytechnic

NZCEL Academic Level 4-5

20 hours of online classes per week

Duration: 16 weeks

Next start dates: April 7

Cost: NZ $ 6,000


Waikato Institute of Education

NZCEL Academic Level 4

20 hours of online classes from Monday to Friday

Duration: 17 weeks

Closest start date: January 2021

Cost: NZ $ 6,550



NZCEL Level 3-5

20 hours of online classes per week

Schedule: in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday (New Zealand time)

Duration: 32 weeks part-time

Closest start date: March 2021

Cost: NZ $ 5,321.74


Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology

NZCEL Level 3-4

20 hours of online classes

Duration: 17 weeks

Closest start date: February 2021

Cost: NZ $ 6,630 (NZ $ 3,000 discount on the mainstream program upon admission to NZCEL in February)


Mainstream PROGRAMS


Otago Polytechnic


Start dates: January, March, June, August, October 2021, except for Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Management

Cost: NZ $ 9000 for Postgraduate Certificate, NZ $ 19,020 for Postgraduate Diploma, NZ $ 29,050 for Master’s




  • Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Management
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Business Analytics
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Business
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Information Technology
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Start dates: February 15, May 3, July 19, October 4

Schedule: 4 hours of online classes and 16 hours of self-study per week

Cost: NZ $ 7,525

Requirements for admission: IELTS Academic 6.5 with a score in each section of at least 6.0 or equivalent.



Convenient conditions for online + offline learning. Bachelor, Postgraduate diploma, Masters programs are available.

Areas of study: Applied Management, Project Management, Occupational Health and Safety Management, AgriBusiness Management.

Start date

February 8, 2021, you must apply before January 18

March 29, 2021, you must apply before March 8

June 14, 2021, you must apply by May 24

August 2, 2021, you must apply before July 12

  • Bachelor of Hotel Management, 3 years of study (360 credits)

You can study for a bachelor’s degree online for up to 2 years (240 credits) + 1 year of study on campus in New Zealand (120 credits) to have the opportunity to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.

Start date

34 weeks full-time

February 8, 2021, you must apply before January 18

March 29, 2021, you must apply before March 8

June 14, 2021, you must apply by May 24

August 2, 2021, you must apply before July 12

40 credits of online study + about 146 credits of compulsory study on campus in New Zealand (including writing a dissertation), for the student to have the opportunity to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.

Start date

17 weeks full-time

January 25, 2021, you must apply before January 4

March 22, 2021, you must apply before March 1

June 7, 2021, you must apply by May 17

August 2, 2021, you must apply before July 12

34 weeks full-time

February 8, 2021, you must apply before January 18

March 29, 2021, you must apply before March 8

June 14, 2021, you must apply by May 24

August 2, 2021, you must apply before July 12

60 credits of online training + 120 credits of compulsory study on campus in New Zealand (including writing a thesis on the project), for the student to have the opportunity to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.

Start date

February 8, 2021, you must apply before January 18

March 29, 2021, you must apply before March 8

June 14, 2021, you must apply by May 24

August 2, 2021, you must apply before July 12


The cost

  • Bachelor Degree NZ$ 75 per credit
  • Postgraduate diploma NZ$ 85 per credit
  • Masters NZ$ 100 per credit

The standard cost of programs is NZ$ 15,600-21,600, depending on the level.



Diploma Programs + additional discount of NZ $ 2,000 and NZ $ 3,000 for further studies in New Zealand.

While the borders are closed, a student joins the course and takes a certain number of credits. Further, when the borders are open, the student applies for a visa and travels to New Zealand.

If for any reason a student cannot come to New Zealand, for example, because the border remains closed or there are problems with obtaining a visa, they can continue online studies with a discount of NZ $ 2,000 or NZ $ 3,000. Upon completion of such an online course, NMIT will issue an official qualifying diploma.


Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Management (part-time 30 credits)

Cost — NZ $ 7,452.18

NZ Diploma in Business – Leadership and Management (equivalent to the first year of Bachelor of Commerce)

Cost— NZ $ 18,900 (one year of study)

NZ Diploma in Business – Accounting (equivalent to the first year of Bachelor of Commerce)

Cost— NZ $ 18,900 (one year of study)

Start date – February 2021


Yoobee School of Design

One of the top schools of design and creative technology also provides online learning opportunities. Upon completion of the online programs, a student can enrol in the second year of the Bachelor Degree or the Diploma Level 6 and Level 7 programs.

Duration: 20 weeks

Start Date: July 19, 2021

Cost: NZ $ 3,609.27 + $175 Course Related Costs (Domestic student fee!)

Mode of Delivery: Synchronous Blended Online (mix of self-directed online and Zoom)

Entry Requirements: Students must be 18 or older. English Language proficiency equivalent to IELTS of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.0; AND must provide evidence of NCEA Level 2 or equivalent.

Students who successfully complete the course progress directly to all Level 5 or Bachelor programme including Design, Animation, IT, Film at Yoobee Colleges.

Duration: 16 weeks

Start Date: July 19, 2021

Cost: NZ $ 6,500 + $1219 Course Related Costs

Upon completion of this course, the student can enrol in the second year of Bachelor on campus in New Zealand.

Start date: July 19, 2021.

Cost: NZ $ 21,500.


Waikato University

Waikato University has announced online training for a number of popular programs. Start of study – March 2021. Students can save up to 20% of the total tuition fees when studying online + offline (when borders open).

Areas of study: Business, IT, Marketing, Supply Chain, Accounting, Arts, Law, Social Science, Education.

Levels of study: Bachelor Degree, Masters, Graduate and Postgraduate Certificate.

Programs and cost

A complete list of online programs can be found on the university website. Admission in 2020-2021.


AUT University

More than 14 areas of professional education, which are available online from one of the most modern universities in the country.

Areas of study: Art and Design, Business, Creative Technologies, Education, English Language, Engineering and Computer Science, Health, Hospitalities, Languages and Culture, Law, Social Science, Sport and recreation, Philosophy and others.

Levels of study: Masters, Postgraduate Diploma / Certificate, Bachelor Degree.

Programs and cost

The cost of the study depends on the level and area of the program. For a complete list of AUT online training options, please follow this link.


University of Canterbury

Areas of study: Art, Commerce, Data Science, Engineering, Sports Coaching, Applied Finance and Economics, Business, Civil Engineering, Professional Accounting, Education, Linguistics, Strategic Communication.

Levels of study: Bachelor Degree, Masters, Certificate.

Start date

February 2021.

Programs and cost

The cost of training depends on the level and area of the program. For a complete list of online learning options, visit the University of Canterbury’s official website.


University of Otago

The university provides online undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Directions of study:

  • Humanities
  • Sciences
  • Business School

A complete list of programs in areas and subjects can be found on the university website.


Massey University

College of Creative Arts launches the first year of online undergraduate programs for international students.

Programs: Bachelor of Design with Honours, Bachelor of Creative Media Production and Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours

Majors available: Photography, Fine Arts, Integrated Design, Spatial Design, Visual Communication Design, Concept Design, Industrial Design, Textile Design, Fashion Design, Film & TV, Producing & Directing, Creative Technologies, Game Development, Animation & VFX, and Māori Visual Arts.

Subjects studied: Communication for Makers, Imagine and Programming for Interactive Projects (semester 1); Screen, Audio and Sound and Working with Scripted Material (semester 2)

Start date: February 22, 2021

After opening the borders, studies can be continued in Wellington in one of the majors above. To calculate the cost of training, please contact your Kiwi Education manager.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Massey University

An excellent opportunity to start your MBA study online and continue in New Zealand after the borders open while retaining the right to receive a Post Study Work Visa.

Start dates: March, July and November 2021

Subjects studied: Leadership, People and Organisations, Finance, Marketing (total number of credits – 60)

If you start training in March, your studies can be easily combined with work and other responsibilities, since it will be part-time, in July – the load increases, in November – full-time training with a full load. Until March 2022, you will be able to complete 60 credits and receive the remaining 120 credits in New Zealand.

To calculate the cost of training, contact your Kiwi Education manager.


For students who want to study at New Zealand universities after graduating from school in other countries, a Foundation Course id compulsory. This program helps school graduates to acquire the academic and linguistic knowledge necessary for enrolment in undergraduate programs and is already partially focused on future specialisation.

Up Education

Due to the closure of the borders, the school announced the launch of online education for students outside New Zealand. The certificate of completion of the online course will be accepted by the leading universities in the country:

  • University of Auckland
  • AUT University
  • Victoria University of Wellington

The cost

From NZ $ 28,800 for 1 year of study. The Institute provides discounts up to 50% on programs. You can take 2 weeks of trial training online.

Start date

Dates for 2021 will be announced later.


Waikato University Foundation

Academic and language preparation for admission to undergraduate programs at Waikato University.

Start date

February, July, October 2021.

Requirements for admission

Certificate of Completed secondary education, IELTS 5.5 overall (not lower than 5.0-5.5 each part).

The cost

Accelerated (5 months) – NZ $ 11,515

Standard (8-9 months) – NZ $ 23,720


University Transfer Program

Language and academic preparation for admission to the Bachelor Degree programs for schoolchildren. The university provides several areas of study that are equivalent to the first year of study of a bachelor’s degree. Thus, upon completion of the online program, the student is automatically enrolled in the second year of the Bachelor Degree.

Areas of study: Commerce, Computer Science, Engineering, Product Design.

Duration of training: 1 year.

The cost

  • Commerce – NZ $ 27,900
  • Computer Science – NZ $ 29,700
  • Engineering – NZ $ 39,800
  • Product Design – NZ $ 32,720


Students can apply for scholarships and receive from NZ $ 10,000 to 20,000 tuition discounts.

If you want to start studying online, contact us or fill out an application form for a free consultation.

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