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Why study in New Zealand?

Date Added: 29/07/2021

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New Zealand is a hot destination for international students and a tough competitor to the US, UK, Canada and Australia. International students currently studying in New Zealand is more than 1, 06,000.

The student influx to New Zealand asserts that more than the picturesque locales seen in Hollywood movies, New Zealand has many strengths in higher education and research. 

New Zealand can take pride in the excellent education system, internationally accredited qualifications, research opportunities and good quality of life. It is a friendly society with a supportive attitude to international students.

New Zealand ranks high on the Global Peace Index in terms of social tolerance and political stability. An international student has equal rights as any Kiwi counterpart.

New Zealand’s multi-cultural environment and natural beauty from snowcapped mountains, volcanoes to green hills, sandy beaches to rainforests are exciting. 


Education to hands-on experience

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) monitors all institutions that enrol international students and ensure compliance with quality and student care. 

New Zealand also offers a structured pathway to meritorious students from good education to residency. New Zealand’s immigration policies are tailored to support a post-study pathway for students who secured a New Zealand qualification. 

This makes placement easy as work experience in the field related to studies comes along. That also exposes and integrates students with the mainstream community.


Top-ranking universities

New Zealand houses many top universities that rank high in QS World Rankings. So, the qualifications are accredited across the globe hiking career prospects for candidates everywhere. 

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) vets all institutions that enrol international students and they have to comply with all qualifications standards.


Emphasis on research-based teaching 

New Zealand education is focused on research-based teaching, with an emphasis on dealing with situations in an organised manner. Students get trained for working independently and in teams as well. 

Critical thinking, explorative questioning and interaction are encouraged in the teaching method. So the concepts learnt can be applied to solving problems in the domain.


Vast Educational Network

New Zealand offers advanced degrees via bachelor, master and doctoral courses. There are 8 state-funded universities, vocational courses in 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs); Private Training Establishments (PTEs) are 700 offering certificates or diplomas. 

These are highly sought after qualifications and recognised globally. Teaching involves lectures and tutorials.


Great scope for PhD scholars

New Zealand provides great scope for research opportunities backed by the best facilities such as experienced faculty, state of the art laboratories, the latest technology, equipment, and spirit of innovation making it a hub of new technologies, research and development in various fields. 

As a result, New Zealand is seeing a quantum leap in healthcare, astronomy, computer engineering, physics, geology, science and agriculture as a hotbed of scholars. 

Research PhD students also enjoy many privileges in the NZ education system. Their tuition fee has been slashed to the rate of locals and free to work full-time during studies, unlike degree students.

International degree students in New Zealand can work up to 20 hours a week during semesters and full-time during breaks. 


Best universities in New Zealand

The temperate climate gives a healthy ambience to pursue studies in its great cities including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington which are all education and job hubs.

University of Auckland: The largest university in New Zealand is one of the most prestigious universities. 

University of Otago: Otago is the oldest university in New Zealand and sways all with its vast grounds and Scottish- architecture makes it an amazing campus. It is famous for health sciences.

University of Canterbury: Located in central Christchurch 

The university has an International College dedicated to supporting students and opened the first art school in New Zealand.


Admission time in New Zealand

New Zealand universities have admission seasons or intakes twice a year. In some universities, it is called a semester. The two intakes available in New Zealand are:

  • First Semester: February to June
  • Second Semester: July to November 

Admissions for vocational courses normally start in March, April and May. 


Student Visa and Costs of study 

Some more ideas about the eligibility for a student visa to study in New Zealand will add value. 

Universities in New Zealand independently set their fees, depending on the grade level, subject and student status. This means international students have to pay more than domestic students.

Generally international undergraduate students will incur NZ$22,000-33,000 (US$14,900-21,700) per year. Higher fees are levied for medicine and veterinary sciences. Bachelor degree is of three years duration. 

Domestic students in New Zealand are eligible for subsidized fees. A recent free fees initiative in 2019 has allowed first-year domestic students to study for free for one year. In this plan, the government will bear NZ$12,000 fees for one year if they are studying part-time. The program also covers migrants and refugees.  

For master’s, annual fees range from NZ$26,000-37,000 (US$17,660-25,000) in contrast to domestic students’ NZ$5,000-10,000 a year.

However, international PhD students get a benign tuition fees plan that is at par with domestic students. That means, for NZ$6,500-$9,000 (US4,400-6,000) a year they can manage the tuition fees.

If the plan is to study for more than a year in New Zealand, as part of the student visa application proof has to be shown that the student has the resources of at least NZ$15,000 (US$10,200) to support himself for the first year.



Students can access university arranged Halls of Residence in New Zealand to live. They are affordable at around NZ$270 (US$180) a week. They can choose between self-catered and catered accommodation. In the former, costs will be US$120 a week at the University of Canterbury and catered student halls can go up to three times that.

However, private accommodation can be expensive. A 3-Bedroom apartment in Auckland will cost US$2,200 per month. So, New Zealand has an education system suiting all pockets.

Capital Wellington and Auckland are the most expensive cities. As far as living costs in New Zealand, are concerned a weekly data goes like this 

  • Utilities
  • Internet 
  • Mobile phone expenses 
  • Insurance 
  • Food 
  • Transport 
  • Entertainment

Other factors in living costs also include mandatory health insurance. 

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