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New Zealand Education System

New Zealand Education

  • In New Zealand, Term Dates are late January to early April. May to early July. Late July to late September. Mid October to mid December.

  • New Zealand’s education system has three levels – early childhood education, school education, and tertiary education – across which students can follow a variety of flexible pathways.

  • Schools provide the second level of education. The education system for schools comprises 13 Year levels. Schooling is compulsory from ages six to 16 (which for most students is Year 11) although most students carry on to Years 12 and 13. Both single-sex and co-educational secondary schooling options are available. Most schools are owned and funded by the state (state schools). Most international students study at private schools that charge fees. Private schools have more flexibility in what they teach and do not have to follow the national curriculum.

  • In secondary schools the timetable is arranged around subjects, and although students continue to experience a broad and balanced curriculum, some specialisation is possible especially in Years 11 to 13. Students are provided with professional career information and guidance.

  • New Zealand has a world-leading National Curriculum which aims for all young people to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. It specifies eight learning areas: English; the Arts; Health and Physical Education; Languages; Mathematics and Statistics; Science; Social Sciences; and Technology.

  • The National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) NCEAs are the national senior secondary school qualifications. NCEA results are understood and accepted overseas.

  • Tertiary education includes all post-secondary education including higher and vocational education. It is the third level of education and is delivered by both state and privately owned institutions. New Zealand has eight public state-funded universities. All are well-recognised internationally, have strong international connections and collaborate with universities in other countries on a range of research and teaching programmes.

  • New Zealand has a national Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. The Code advises education providers on the standards of care they must provide to international students living and studying in New Zealand. All education providers which enrol international students must follow the Code, and this is closely monitored by the Government.