WHY NZ

NZ Education

High quality education at all levels

New Zealand has one of the best education systems in the world. Classes sizes are smaller, and the Western style of learning encourages independent thinking. Our system follows the UK model, with 13 years of primary and secondary schooling, and a three-year Bachelor degree.

The New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) oversees all qualifications so they fit into the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF).

Our primary and secondary system is shown below, so you can see how to transfer into the right level for you. Most schools will accept students for as little as one term (10 weeks) but most students complete at least 1 year; some complete 5 years or more.

APPROXIMATE AGE567891011121314151617
YEAR LEVEL12345678910111213
SCHOOL TYPEPRIMARY SCHOOLINTERMEDIATESECONDARY SCHOOL
NZ QUALIFICATIONSNEW ZEALAND CIRRICULUM, NATIONAL STANDARDS TESTINGNCEA
LEVEL 1
NCEA
LEVEL 2
NCEA
LEVEL 3
CAMBRIDGECAMBRIDGESECONDARY 1SECONDARY 2ADVANCED
IB PROGRAMMEPRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMMEMIDDLE YEARSDIPLOMA
PROGRAMME

Tertiary study for ESOL: There is no academic requirement for entry, and many schools accept students from Beginner to Advanced. You can choose any length of study that you want. Generally, with intense study in an English speaking country, students can expect to improve their IELTS scores by .5 for each of the 4 bands, for every 10 weeks of study.

Tertiary qualifications (Academic and Vocational) are shown below, and NZQA specifies the minimum entry requirements. English ability is measured by IELTS, but many alternatives are accepted. Generally, requirements for entry to qualifications are

  • Level 4: satisfactory completion Year 11 (home country) + IELTS 5.0
  • Level 5: satisfactory completion Year 12 (home country) + IELTS 5.5
  • Level 6: satisfactory completion of the equivalent of Level 5 + IELTS 6.0
  • Level 7: satisfactory completion of the equivalent of Level 6 + IELTS 6.0

  • Level 8 ,9 and 10: satisfactory completion of a relevant degree + IELTS 6.5, or possibly higher

NZQF LEVELL1L2L3L4L5L6L7L8L9L10
QUALIFICATIONSDoctoral (PhD) Degrees
Masters Degrees
Bachelor Honours Degrees,
Postgraduate certificates and Diplomas
Bachelor Degrees,
Graduate Certificates and Diplomas
Diplomas
Certificates, Foundation programmes and English language courses for entry to higher education
INSTITUTIONSUniversities
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics
Private Training Establishments
Secondary School

Please note the dates of the New Zealand school year as compared to your country. Also, if you have only 12 years of schooling, your tertiary institution may require you to complete a Foundation Year at Level 4.

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