Education System

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Education system in New Zealand includes primary schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities. Education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16 in New Zealand. After high school, students enter into the ‘tertiary education system’. Universities offer lots of specializations in both academic and vocational programs and some universities offer foundation programs in variety of specialty areas in order to smoothly transition into an undergraduate program. Students can choose from a short course teaching a specific skill or from a wide range of courses resulting in a certificate, a diploma or a degree.

The educational institutes are divided into Universities, Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITP’s) and Private Training Establishments (PTE’S). These qualifications are recognized all across the world. The Universities and ITP’s in New Zealand are state owned. The universities are research based offering courses from certificate level through to doctorates. Bachelor degree typically last for 3 years and additional one year for honours. Master degree is 2 years course with one year more for honours.

The ITPs offer courses that are equivalent in merit to those offered in New Zealand universities. The PTEs offer faculty specific programs like travel, tourism, business or design. All courses in New Zealand have to be recognized by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) that ensures that all qualifications are accepted as credible and robust, nationally and internationally. There are a growing number of private tertiary education and training providers offering an alternative study option. They offer a range of programs including professional certificates, diplomas and degrees in a diverse range of subjects including art, hospitality industry, computer studies, secretarial studies, quality management and other subjects. Apart from all the above tertiary educational system of New Zealand, there are lots of quality language schools that offer a variety of language courses for all ages including adventure, business and educational programs. These language schools are also a part of New Zealand’s tertiary education system.

New Zealand was the first country to adopt a code of practice that sets out standards for the care of international students ensuring their protection in and outside classroom. The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from late January until mid-December for polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.