Top Reasons to Choose New Zealand as Your Study Abroad Destination

5 min read

Education & Career Trends: May 18, 2023
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

To study in New Zealand, the universities have set different requirements and eligibility criteria for different programmes.

  • Excerpts are taken from an article published on

New Zealand is an island country located south of Australia and Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. Comparatively a smaller economy, however, it is a developed nation. With the second rank in the Global Peace Index 2018, New Zealand is one of the few safest countries to study in. Globally recognised institutions and an interactive education system make the right combination of culture, nature, and opportunities for a student.

In 2022, around 120,000 international students were enrolled across eight New Zealand universities along with its ITPs and PTEs. With 20,000+ vacancies opening up each year, studying in New Zealand for international students has become one of the preferred choices.
The introduction of Green List Occupations in New Zealand after the pandemic has also encouraged international students to study in New Zealand and apply for full-time job roles.

Education System in New Zealand

Different institutions or degrees of higher education are identified in New Zealand. These institutions differ based on the type of education they offer or the courses they offer to students in New Zealand.

  • Technical & Vocational Education: These institutions are for those students who are studying at the Senior Secondary school level, plus also those, who can pursue a course and specialize, in order to earn a living.
  • Youth Guarantee: These courses are for students aged between 16-19. Gives them an opportunity to study NCEA Level 1-3 or Certificate Level 1-3 which are tertiary courses provided free of cost. 
  • Trades Academies: These academies run through schools and other education providers and teach trades and technology-related programmes to students aged between 15-18.  
  • Institutes of Technology: These are government or industry-funded institutions which offer basic or introductory courses in vocational education. 
  • Private Training: Such training institutions offer specific vocational courses at both certificate and diploma levels. 
  • Universities: There are eight state-funded Universities in New Zealand offering a variety of courses across all major subjects.

Top Universities in New Zealand

There are just eight universities in New Zealand and only one university in New Zealand ranks in the top 100 globally. The following is a list of ranking positions for all the universities in New Zealand as per QS and THE World Rankings 2023:

New Zealand UniversitiesQS World University Rankings 2023THE World University Rankings 2023
University of Auckland#87#139
University of Otago#217301-350
Victoria University of Wellington#275401-500
University of Canterbury#284601-800
Massey University#292
University of Waikato#331401-500
Lincoln University#368
Auckland University of Technology#486251-300

Why Study in New Zealand?

  • Quality Education: New Zealand has a diverse education system that supports a wide range of programs and courses to choose from. With great scope for research and adequate work benefits, New Zealand is the hot spot for you to be.
  • Cost of living: The education fee for an International student varies depending on the field they pick to study in New Zealand.
  • Language: New Zealand is mainly an English-speaking nation along with other languages- Maori and New Zealand sign language.
  • Career Prospects: As an advanced market economy, New Zealand is a high-income economy with a nominal gross domestic product per capita of US$ 36,254. The country is home to some of the largest companies like Fonterra, ASB, IBM, Millenium, Spark NZ and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.
  • Safety: New Zealand is an extremely safe and secure nation for International students. New Zealand provides a safe environment and is friendly for students living alone in a new country.
  • Immersive Culture: New Zealand’s cultural influences are predominantly Maori and European. You can celebrate diverse festivals like Māori Kai Festivals, Christmas, Chinese Lantern Festival, Lunar New Year and Diwali.
  • Generous Scholarships: The New Zealand government and institutions offer several scholarships for international students to study in New Zealand. Such as New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships, SEG Scholarships, New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) and New Zealand Excellence Awards.

Requirements to Study in New Zealand

To study in New Zealand, the universities have set different requirements and eligibility criteria for different programmes.

  • Relevant 12th certificate/undergraduate degree/master’s degree from a recognized university in the relevant field (minimum marks depend upon the university and department opted for)
  • Proficiency in the English Language like valid IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/Duolingo scores
  • Entrance like GMAT or GRE Scores 
  • Resume/CV (course-specific requirement)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Valid Passport 
  • Bank Statements and proof of financial coverage for your entire study abroad timeline 

Study in New Zealand Highlights

Total Universities08
Universities Ranking in Top 100 Globally01 (2023)
Education LevelsPrimary, Secondary & Tertiary
Tertiary Education RegulatorNew Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
ELP Test Scores RequiredTOEFL / IELTS / PTE / Duolingo
Standardised Test Scores AcceptedUG: SAT / NEET UG / LSATPG: GRE / GMAT / MCAT
Undergraduate Admission Eligibility12th scores + Entrance Test scores + ELP scores
Postgraduate (Taught & Research) Admission EligibilityBachelor’s degree + Entrance Test scores + ELP scores
NZ Qualifications RecognisedGlobally
New Zealand University Acceptance RateHighly selective (90%)

New Zealand Intakes

International students can apply for the two major intakes in New Zealand in January and July Intakes. Most students apply during these sessions and they correspond with the start of university semesters to ensure students can begin/rejoin classes with their peers. 

SemesterSessionAdmissions Begin
Odd SemesterFebruary to JuneNovember
Even SemesterJuly to NovemberFebruary

Students will have to accept their offers in time, as soon as they receive a decision on their applications so that they can apply for their student visas, to study in New Zealand.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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