For Australian students looking to study overseas, New Zealand is an attractive education destination. New Zealand offers students an international study experience with the familiarity of home and the same high standard of education. Just a short flight from the eastern coast, studying in New Zealand provides all the benefits of studying abroad without the hassle of being too far from home.
Why study in New Zealand?
There are many reasons why Australians should consider studying in New Zealand, not least of which is the fact that Australians are treated as domestic students. This means that Australians pay the same fees as local students and do not need to apply for a student visa. After three years in New Zealand, they are also eligible for student loans (similar to Australia's HELP loans), which allow students to defer the cost of their studies. On top of this, if you're looking to return to Australia after completing your studies, it's good to know that you are able to have your New Zealand qualifications recognised in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement.
Another benefit of studying in New Zealand is that tuition fees are generally lower than in Australia. For example, while Australian students currently pay a student contribution of AUD$10,266 per year for a law degree, New Zealand's law courses generally cost around half that — NZ$5200 (AUD$4850) to NZ$5800 (AUD$5400) per year.
Where to study
There are eight universities in New Zealand — spread across the North and South Islands, from Dunedin and Christchurch in the south to Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Auckland in the north. New Zealand is also home to 18 institutes of technology and polytechnics, which offer mostly vocational education and are similar to Australian TAFE institutes. There is also a number of private colleges, offering both specialised education (in areas such as tourism and hospitality, health, computing and IT, education and creative arts), as well as general qualifications. The North Island is the more metropolitan of the two and is home to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, as well as its capital Wellington. The South Island is where you'll find New Zealand's famous ski fields and stunning natural wonders, including sparkling alpine lakes and icy glaciers.
What to study
Like in Australia, New Zealand's qualifications fall under a unified framework — the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) — which covers everything from vocational certificates and diplomas to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The NZQF is divided into 10 levels, from basic certificates at level 1 to doctoral degrees at level 10. In terms of study areas, you can expect a similar selection of courses to what you'd find in Australia, with fields ranging from arts, agriculture, business, humanities and science to professional degrees in engineering, education, law, medicine, nursing and veterinary medicine.
Life and culture
Just like their Australian neighbours, New Zealanders are generally quite laid-back and are big sports fans, especially when it comes to cheering on their beloved All Blacks. Maori culture is an important part of New Zealand life and there are opportunities to experience it throughout the country. Auckland was number eight on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking 2017 list with a score of 95.7 out of 100.
How to apply
Australian students are able to apply for courses in New Zealand based on their secondary school results. Each institution generally sets a minimum ATAR or OP score for admission, while certain courses may also list additional requirements, such as prerequisite subjects or a portfolio.
Visit the New Zealand Education website for more information about studying in New Zealand.