Why New Zealand ?
New Zealand, having one of the best education systems in the world, was the first country to adopt a code of practice that sets out standards for the care of international students, thus ensuring their safety. New Zealand offers the highest percentage of public funding in education in the world.
Education system in New Zealand includes primary schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and/or polytechnics. Most international students enter the country for tertiary education. Some of the tertiary education offers foundation programmes and there are lots of specializations offered in these universities that enable the students to choose from a wide variety of programs, which can be both academically and vocationally, focused. 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.
There are 10 levels In New Zealand schools and universities, certificate being the lowest level and doctoral level the highest.
Levels 1 to 4 - Certificate
Levels 5 to 6 - Diploma
Level 7 – Bachelor degree, graduate diplomas and certificates
Level 8 - Postgraduate diplomas and certificates and bachelor degrees with honours
Level 9 - Masters degrees
Level 10 - Doctoral degrees
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 honors. Master degree is 2 years with one year more for honors.
At polytechnics and institutes of technology, there is more practical and vocational programme of study. The ITPs offer courses that are equivalent in merit to those offered in New Zealand universities. All courses in New Zealand have to be recognized by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) that seeks to ensure that New Zealand 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 options including quality language schools.
International students must prove their English language aptitude by taking IELTS, TOEFL or ESOL tests. They may also take a foundation course in a variety of specialty areas in order to smoothly transition into an undergraduate program in New Zealand.
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.
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