University System in New Zealand

Uniform quality standards, practical relevance and a permeable study system – New Zealand’s diverse university landscape has a lot to offer, so that more and more international students are choosing to study abroad on the North or South Island. The universities, Wānanga and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics as well as the numerous private training establishments enable academic and professional degrees. The awarding of doctoral degrees is reserved for the universities.

The high quality of life in the island state is clearly reflected in the various educational institutions. As a result, it does not seem surprising that all eight universities in the country are listed in the renowned QS World Top 500 University Ranking. The multicultural atmosphere, practical orientation of the course content and specialized master’s programs are just some of the reasons for a contemporary and high-quality study in New Zealand, a country located in Oceania according to elaineqho.

Types of higher education institutions in New Zealand

The New Zealand education system is divided into three sectors, with all higher education institutions in the tertiary sector. In addition to the internationally recognized and academic bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as the doctoral degree, the various institutions also award certificates and diplomas. The New Zealand higher education landscape includes different types of higher education institutions that offer a more or less flexible and practice-oriented degree.

  • Universities: There are eight universities in New Zealand, most of which are state-funded. Each university has an individual research focus. Common undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at universities include bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. In addition, diplomas and certificates are awarded.
  • Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs):The 18 public Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics alsoaward degrees in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The master’s degree is equivalent to a university master’s degree. The ITPs are generally more vocational and practical, so that the courses offered are strongly adapted to the requirements of industry and often include industrial projects. Therefore, ITPs focus on technical-scientific courses and maintain close contacts with the private sector. The aim is to get to knowso-called “real-world workplaces and situations”during your studies.
  • Wānanga: At the three state-run Wānanga, students can acquire certificates and diplomas as well as academic degrees up to doctoral degrees. These institutions are based on the usual Māori teaching and learning methods and help to pass on the knowledge and culture of the ethnic group. The Wānanga arise from the Whare Wānanga (= houses of learning), which represented places of higher education in traditional Māori societies. In 1981 the first modern Wānanga was founded. The New Zealand educational reform in 1990 enabled recognition as a tertiary educational institution. In addition to the three Wānanga, there are also Māori providers. These institutions serve Māori topics, teach in a Māori atmosphere and focus on the needs of Māori learners.
  • Private Training Establishments (PTEs): In addition to the state-sponsored universities, ITPs and Wānanga, students can also obtain degrees at one of the more than 700 private educational institutions. The Private Training Establishments (PTEs) mostly offer certificates and diplomas on, partly also master. Like the ITPs, they focus on vocational programs, English courses or niche areas. The PTEs allow students to take a short undergraduate degree or pre-university courses for orientation. The flexible study program takes place in small classes and in close cooperation with companies. Many international students use the programs to study English before studying at a university. The English Language Schools prepare students specifically for language tests such as the TOEFL or IELTS, for example. Before applying, international students should check whether the institution of their choice has been approved by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) is recognized, because visas are only granted for programs registered there.
  • Colleges of Education: The Colleges of Education ceased to exist as an independent institution in New Zealand for several years, as they have all merged with the New Zealand universities since 2007. Prospective teachers and social workers were trained at these educational institutions. The cooperation with the universities had a long tradition. Since its early days around the turn of the century, ” on-the-job training ” for teachers at so-called training colleges has been supplemented with individual courses from universities. After being renamed Colleges of Education in the 1980s the institutions also trained prospective social workers and teachers from other areas, for example nursing. In the course of New Zealand’s educational reform in 1990, the Colleges of Education were placed on an equal footing with universities and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and were allowed to offer equivalent degrees. However, due to the decline in new enrollments around the turn of the millennium, which largely controlled the state funding of the institution, many colleges of education merged with the universities.

Funding New Zealand educational institutions

The educational institutions of the diverse higher education landscape in New Zealand are funded by government grants, tuition fees and other sources such as research contracts. Since New Zealand’s educational reform in 1990, state funding for institutions has been based on the number of full-time students.

The tuition fees are a major factor in the financing of universities and vary greatly from one institution to the next. International undergraduate and postgraduate students pay higher fees than local students. Therefore, in addition to the BAföG abroad, they should also find out about possible scholarships.

Since 2003, the Tertiary Education Commission has been responsible for the distribution of state funding to the tertiary educational institutions and advises the government on strategic educational issues.

Quality assurance at universities in New Zealand

In New Zealand, all national educational qualifications are classified according to the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) and their quality and relevance are ensured. This form of quality assurance grants uniform degrees in a diverse university landscape, so that students can easily switch between the different educational institutions.

All New Zealand educational institutions must be registered with the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) to accept international students. The NZQA is responsible for the quality of all degrees from non-university educational institutions in the tertiary sector. These include PTEs, ITPs and Wānanga.

Universities New Zealand regulates quality assurance at the universities. In addition to the quality requirements of the NZQA, the universities must meet financial and organizational quality requirements set by the government through the Tertiary Education Commission.

International students can expect minimum standards of care, pastoral care, accommodation and information on site through the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students introduced in 2002. The code is mandatory for all educational institutions that accept international students and also includes complaint management.

The New Zealand government is currently revising the code in cooperation with various educational providers, among other things, in order to maintain its high, contemporary standard. This investment in New Zealand’s future is designed to expand international relationships and further develop the thriving international education sector.

New Zealand educational institutions in international comparison

In an international comparison, New Zealand has a diverse university landscape with a high quality. The QS World University Ranking 2015/2016 lists all eight universities in the relatively small island nation among the top 500.

The education sector is one of the most important export sectors in New Zealand. Therefore, the state strives for a high and contemporary quality standard of the educational institutions in order to attract international students in the long term. This strategy is paying off, since since 2003, for example, more and more German students have been visiting New Zealand to study abroad. The most popular subjects for German students came from law, economics and social sciences.

Other special features of the New Zealand university landscape

In New Zealand’s educational institutions, the integration of Māori culture has been an integral part of the country’s identity for decades. In addition, inclusion and personal support are very important. Therefore, many universities have a point of contact for people with disabilities or chronic diseases. The institutions also offer childcare and prayer rooms for spiritual support.

For English language courses, students can choose between general English courses and those that enable an internationally recognized qualification.

University System in New Zealand