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Top Courses and Universities in New Zealand for International Students

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

New Zealand offers world-class universities to its domestic and international students. All the 8 New Zealand Universities are ranked below 500 in QS World University Ranking.

Also, many courses in New Zealand are taught at the universities which are ranked at international level and appear amongst the best courses in the world. Around 39 courses of the country also appear below 100 in QS World Subject Ranking.

Some courses offered in New Zealand are placed under top 500 courses around the world by Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jiao Tong.

Mentioned are the 8 government funded Universities in New Zealand ranking with the corresponding QS World Ranking

UniversitiesQS World Ranking
University of Auckland81
University of Otago169
University of Canterbury214
Victoria University of Wellington228
The University of Waikato292
Massey University340
Lincoln University343
Auckland University of Technology441 - 450

Note: Figures mentioned are just an estimate. It may vary.

Type of Institutions in New Zealand

Polytechnic Institutions

They provide vocational and professional training to its students. Here, the studies are focused more on practical learning rather than theoretical aspect. Students prefer more of technical subjects, therefore engineering is one of the most wanted course in Poly.

Private Training Establishments

It provides training for the courses which are not found in the public sector. They mainly focus on the ‘niche occupations’ like tourism, ICT or designing. The trainers are preferred with the industry background rather than education.


They offer degree programs, both bachelor’s and master’s to the students. Universities offer more of theoretical knowledge. The university offers more number of courses and majors. It may or may not have colleges affiliated.

New Zealand also has English language schools which work upon the proficiency of the English language for the students.

Major Courses offered in New Zealand Universities

According to QS subject ranking, mentioned are the top courses offered in New Zealand and corresponding universities providing them.

MedicineUniversity of Auckland, University of Otago
DentistryUniversity of Otago
EngineeringUniversity of Auckland, University of Canterbury
AgricultureLincoln University
Massey’s Palmerstone North campusAgriculture, Aviation, And Veterinary Science
LawUniversity of Auckland, University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago and University of Waikato

Mechanical Engineering and MBA are the top specializations provided to the students in New Zealand.

Qualifications Offered in New Zealand Universities


Major Bachelor’s Degree

  • B.Sc (Adv) (Hons) - Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)
  • BN - Bachelor of Nursing
  • B.E. - Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • LLB - Bachelor of Law
  • MBBS - Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

Major Master’s Degree

  • M.Arch. - Master of Architecture
  • M.Sc. in Finance - Master of Finance
  • M.E. - Master of Engineering
  • LLM - Master of Law
  • MSW - Master of Social Work

Major Diploma Courses

  • Graduate Diploma in Information Technology – Level 7
  • Graduate Diploma in Information and Communications Technology – Level 7
  • Graduate Diploma in Animation Level – 7
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Computer Graphic Design - Level 8
  • National Diploma in Science (Two years) - Level 5 or 6

Certificate Courses

  • Certificate for English for further Study-Level 4
  • Certificate in Hospitality and Catering – Level 3
  • Certificate for Entry to Automotive Trades – Level 3
  • Certificate in Steel Fabrication and Welding – Level 3
  • Certificate in Machining Technology – Level 3

Short Courses in New Zealand

Short courses are introduced for the students with average duration of 3 months. Exceptions are available for these courses with the period of 1 to 3 years.

Mentioned are the categories of short courses under which the individual courses are available.

  • Business and Management
  • Computer Science and IT
  • Education and Training
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Medicine and Health

English Courses

Why New Zealand?

  • Help meeting international English standards
  • Flexible English Courses
  • English as native language in New Zealand

Popular English Courses

  • General English
  • IELTS and TOEFL courses
  • Cambridge exam
  • English for Academic Purpose
  • English  + Internships
  • English for specific purposes

Universities offering English courses

  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Waikato
  • University of Auckland

Cheap Universities in New Zealand

  1. Lincoln University
  2. University of Canterbury
  3. Massey University
  4. Victoria University of Wellington
  5. University of Waikato

Most of the programs are valid for 3 months only. Exceptions may go up to 1 year, 2 year or 7 years.

Distance Education

Through distance learning, international students can study without attending classroom sessions. Apart from universities, various polytechnics and training institutes provide the degree too.

Open Polytechnic and Massey University specialize in distance learning.

How does it work?

In case of distance learning, internet has revolutionized the way it works. All the assignments and study materials are posted through internet to the students.

Students are assigned a staff member to whom they can put their query.

Many courses involve audio lectures so as to get the real feel of the classroom.                                   

Benefits of Distance Learning

  • Study at the student’s own pace.
  • Students can take admission in the institution they desire irrespective of its location.
  • If students complete their course without taking much time, they can gain the diploma or degree sooner.

Students can pay their fees through mentioned ways, it generally depends upon the course opted.

  • Credit Card (MasterCard and Visa only)
  • Internet Banking
  • Student Loan

Note: In case, the students want to withdraw from their courses and have not paid the fees will have their accounts debited from non-refundable fee which includes administration fee – 40 USD.

Fee and Funding Sources

  • Study related cost – Tuition fee, text books, reading material and postage and more.
  • Non-tuition Fee – All the fees except tuition fee such as annual enrolment fee, shipping charges, overseas examination fee.
    • Fee range of international undergraduate student – 16,433 USD to 42,726 USD
    • Fee range of international graduate student – 18,405 USD to 29,908 USD

Students can take student loans and scholarships from their institutions as their funding sources.

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