Special Features of the Education System in New Zealand

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 22 May 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



Every year 20,000+ international students flock to New Zealand to pursue their higher studies, making it the most preferred study location. Study in New Zealand is all about experiential learning combined with opportunities for innovation and research, providing an excellent scope of growth for scholars. Additionally, universities in New Zealand come in the top 3% of universities worldwide, enhancing their credibility and giving the institutions global recognition. In this blog, we will explore the special features of education system in New Zealand, so take a seat back for this relaxing, educational ride!

What is the NZQF framework

The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) is one of the oldest established frameworks in the world and primarily recognizes different qualifications ranging from secondary to tertiary degrees.  The framework’s recognition of degrees sets a benchmark for the quality of education and hence imparts global credibility to the education system in New Zealand. The framework outlines the prerequisites required to pursue specific qualifications, which are chalked based on clear conducive learning goals. As a result, a scholar who has earned an NZQF qualification naturally has smooth employment pathways. Moreover, the NZQF allows scholars to pursue education in different settings aside from universities, providing them with the flexibility to fulfil their educational aspirations at their own pace. Moreover, the framework supports indigenous Maori education and helps them to advance in their educational journey.

Educational Institutions in New Zealand

The variety of courses in New Zealand spans numerous subjects and levels, including degrees, diplomas, certificate programs, etc. The country has a variety of educational institutions to accommodate the diverse teaching methodologies that rely on the subject chosen. The broad categories of various educational institutions in New Zealand are shown below.

Education type


Technical and Vocational Education

  • Senior Secondary Levels
  • Pursue a course while specialization
  • Great way to increase employment pathways

Youth Guarantee

  • Age group- 16-19 years
  • Vocationally focused courses
  • Study NCEA Level 1-3 ( free of charge
  • Certificate level 1-3 at tertiary courses( free of charge)

Trade Academies

  • Age group- 15-18 years
  • Teach trade and technology programs

Institutions of Technology and Polytechnics

  • Government and Industry funded
  • Teach professional and vocational education
  • Training from introductory studies to degrees
  • Quality and tested Education

Private Training

  • Specialised vocational courses
  • Certificate and Diploma Levels


  • Eight  state-funded university
  • Plethora of courses across various disciplines

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Key features of education system in New Zealand

The educational system in New Zealand includes a contemporary learning environment, interactive lessons, and a close-knit community of scholars. What distinguishes Kiwi schooling from other systems, though? Let's investigate that!


Student-centred Approach


Instead of following a strict education regimen, Universities in New Zealand uphold an education framework based on active learning, adaptability, and open-mindedness. The student-teacher ratio is balanced to ensure equal dissemination of quality education in the classroom. Moreover, students are encouraged to participate in discussions and extracurricular to have ample room to explore their interests and holistically groom their personalities.




Different aspects of New Zealand’s education are administered and monitored by education agencies such as ENZ (Education New Zealand), NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority), etc. These agencies ensure timely reviews of education quality and availability of cutting-edge technology, taking measures to make New Zealand degrees credible all across the globe etc. Hence, this ensures the maintenance of high-quality educational standards.


Teaching Methodology


New Zealand university teaching methods are famous for their innovation and creativity. Universities in New Zealand have a broad and balanced curriculum that primarily focuses on foundational learning and personalised teaching procedures. Moreover, the country has an official code of practice called pastoral care to ensure a conducive academic environment for international students.


Student support


Universities in New Zealand have foundation courses and English language courses for international students to make them acquainted and comfortable with the education pattern. In addition, scholars have access to various study resources and a pioneering community of professors. Different departments are established – such as counselling, career guidance, and sport recreation hubs – to ensure the overall wellbeing of their students.


Rediscover Yourself


Studying in New Zealand is not merely about classroom learning. Instead, students are encouraged to attend global conferences and participate in diverse volunteering programs and creative workshops. All these opportunities allow scholars to see beyond the lens of academic learning and get exposure to diverse perspectives. This gives them infinite possibilities to discover themselves and find their true calling.


Scholarships in New Zealand


In New Zealand, the government and several private and public organisations fund scholarships to students which eases the management of educational expenses. Apart from your academic profile, they also consider extracurricular activities and volunteering experience when weighing your profile. Many of these scholarships in New Zealand entail covering your living expenditures to 100% tuition fee waived. Here is a list of some of the top scholarships provided by the government:


  • New Zealand Pacific Scholarships

  • Commonwealth Scholarships

  • Short-Term Training Scholarships

  • New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards

Work Prospects in New Zealand

There are diverse work opportunities in New Zealand for students to pursue along with their studies. Students are granted the allowance of part-time work on a student visa for up to 20 hours per week. Moreover, the country allows you to stay back for another year of work after completing your course. Also, if you secure a job in your specialisation, then the country extends your time off work for up to two to three years, depending on your level of study, and it eases your process of getting a permanent residence as well.


To sum up, the special features of education system in New Zealand are based on practical learning and active participation of scholars, allocating adequate resources at the disposal of students. Studying in New Zealand is about personal growth, inculcation of new perspectives, and industry readiness. 


Q: Are degrees of New Zealand globally recognized?

A: Yes, degrees in New Zealand are globally accredited, and the educational system is monitored by agencies and structured under the NZQF framework, which gives it global recognition.


Q: Can students work while studying in New Zealand?

A: Generally, students can work up to 20 hours while pursuing their regular programs and can work full-time during vacations. Moreover, scholars who opt for doctoral and research degrees can work full-time.


Q: Do underage students need to meet additional requirements to study in New Zealand?

A: As such, there are no special requirements for underage students, but they may vary from university to university. Hence a student must check with the university for the same.


Q: What are some of the top Courses to study in New Zealand?

A: Some top courses to study in New Zealand are IT and computer science, engineering, nursing, business studies, etc. However, students should filter out their choice of courses to make an informed educational decision for their future.


We hope we have provided you with sufficient information about the special features of education system in New Zealand. If you are still unsure or would like to get deeper insight, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in New Zealand. Don’t hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or call us at 1800-1230-00011.


If you found this information useful, please share it with your friends and family looking for work in New Zealand.

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