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Requirements and Information by Country

New Zealand


Contents of this Page

Education System
Selected Universities
Useful Links


Education System

University education in New Zealand is closer to the British than the American system. There is, for example, no educational institution equivalent to the American "Liberal Arts" College. All universities offer Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees. Most Bachelor's degree courses require three years but some may take up to six years. In some faculties a Bachelor's Honours degree is conferred after an additional year of undergraduate study.

At most universities the course of study for a Bachelor's degree consists of a prescribed number of units, papers or courses. In each subject there are usually offered first-year courses (stage 1 or 100 level), second-year courses (stage 2 or 200 level) and third-year courses (stage 3 or 300 level).

In each subject the student is required to attend a given number of lectures, tutorials and/or laboratory periods per week. In some courses field trips provide opportunities for on-site study of natural phenomena or social processes. These are supplemented by personal reading and research. Students are expected to develop independent study skills with a minimum of professional supervision.

Grades given in tests, assignments and practical work count towards the final grade for a course. Most courses have a final three-hour written examination held either at mid-year (June) or end of year (October/November).

A postgraduate diploma usually requires one year of study after the Bachelor's degree while a Master's degree usually requires two years' work after a Bachelor's degree or one year after an Honours degree. Master's degrees traditionally consist of a thesis based on the results of original research, but increasingly Master's degrees by papers, or papers plus research, are becoming available.

The PhD degree normally takes at least three years of full-time study and research. The degree is awarded on the basis of the thesis, requiring original research and an oral examination. In special circumstances examiners may also require the candidate to take a written examination.

The academic year extends from late February or early March to November.

To talk to a student counselor and obtain information on studying in New Zealand, you can also contact the following two centers:


Trade New Zealand
#15/02 Ngee Ann City (Tower A)
391A Orchard Road
Singapore 238873
Tel: +65 738 7453
Fax: +65 732 5595


New Zealand Trade Development Board
All Seasons Place
M Thai Tower, Level 14
87 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Tel: 254 1610
Fax: 256 0129


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Selected Universities

University of Canterbury, New Zealand


The University of Canterbury takes many international students each year.



Tuition fees: from NZ $12,000 (approx 6000 US dollars) to 18,000 depending on the field of study. Engineering is the most expensive.

Cost of living: NZ $9-11,000/year, not including airfare. Expect to spend approximately NZ$180/week for food, board, and other small expenses. Books and stationery can cost up to $NZ 1,000.

Note: NZ$ 1 = US $ .5


Applying for Admission

Entrance Requirements for international students:

GCE “A” levels: You must take 3 subjects in one sitting and you must achieve at least 1 grade at C or above.

Note: If you have not taken the GCE A levels, you may have to attend a university for one year (ie. in your home country) before being admitted to a university in New Zealand.

English requirements (either the IELTS or the TOEFL):

Minimum score for the IELTS:

Undergraduates: 6.0 - 6.5, with no section score lower than 5.5.
Postgraduates: 6.5 - 7.0, with no section score lower than 6.0.

Minimum score for the TOEFL computer-based test:

Undergraduate: 213 with 4.5 (minimum) for the essay and no section score less than 20.
Postgraduate: 250 with 5.0 (minimum) for the essay and no section score less than 23.

Minimum score for the TOEFL paper-based test:

Undergraduate: 550 and TWE 4.5-5.0
Postgraduate: 600 and TWE 5 - 6


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New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS), is a government authority responsible for issuing permits and visas to enter New Zealand.

Students are advised to contact the nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission to obtain information on visa regulations.

New Zealand High Commission: 50N Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India 

Telephone: (11) 688 3170

Fax: (11) 688 3165; (11) 687 2317

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1300 hrs, 1400-1700 hrs


New Zealand Embassy BRI II Building, 23rd Floor, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 44-46, Jakarta, Indonesia
PO Box 2439, Jakarta, Indonesia 

Telephone: (62 21) 573 5268

Fax: (62 21) 572 7878

Office Hours: Mon - Thu 0730 - 1600 hrs, Fri 0730 - 1300 hrs 

Email: nzembjak@cbn.net.id


New Zealand Embassy 20-40 Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150, Japan 

Telephone: (3) 3467 2271/5 

Fax: (3) 3467 6843; (3) 3467 2285

Office Hours: Mon - Fri 0900 - 1730 hrs 

Email: nzemb@gol.com

Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/japan



New Zealand High Commission 21st Floor, Menara IMC, 8 Jalan Sultan Ismail (PO Box 12-003, Kuala Lumpur 50764), 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Telephone : (3) 238 2533
Facsimile : (3) 238 4645 (Immigration) 
Office hours : Mon - Fri 0800 - 1230 hrs, 1330 - 1630 hrs 
Email : nzhckl@po.jaring.my 


New Zealand Embassy 23rd Floor, Far East Bank Center, Sen Gil Puyat Avenue (near Makati Avenue), Makati City (PO Box 3228 MCCPO, 1272 Makati City), The Philippines 

Telephone: (632) 891 5358
Facsimile: (632) 891 357
Office hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1230 hrs, 1330-1630 hrs
Email : newzealand@embassy.com.ph

New Zealand Immigration Service
391A Orchard Road, #15 - 05, Ngee Ann City, Tower A, Singapore 0923 

Telephone : 738 6700 
Facsimile : 235 6651 
Office hours : Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs 

New Zealand Embassy 93 Wireless Road (PO Box 2719), Bangkok 5, Thailand 
Telephone (2) 254 2530 Facsimile (2) 253 9045; (2) 256 0129 (Tradenz) Email: nzembbkk@loxinfo.co.th


Standard Requirements

1. Complete the 'Application for Student Visa' Form. These are available at the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission and your local travel/education agencies. With the 'Application for Student Visa' you will need to include:

2. Students will only be issued with a student visa if they have enrolled in an approved course at an institution or establishment which is accredited to offer it.

3. If your application for a student visa is approved you will need a passport which will be valid for 3 months beyond your initial date of departure from New Zealand.


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Useful Links

New Zealand Education

This site contains information on the education system, colleges and universities, visas, the cost of living, and general information about New Zealand. There is also a special section for international students.

Students can meet with student counselors and obtain impartial advice and counselling on study opportunities in New Zealand. A wide range of New Zealand education publications, brochures, directories, audio-visual materials and application forms.



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