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General Information

New Zealand is a wealthy Pacific nation dominated by two cultural groups: New Zealanders of European descent; and the Maori, the descendants of Polynesian settlers.

It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

Agriculture is the economic mainstay, but manufacturing and tourism are important and there is a world-class film industry.

New Zealand has diversified its export markets and has developed strong trade links with Australia, the US, and Japan. In April 2008 it became the first Western country to sign a free trade deal with China.

The precise date of early Maori settlement remains a matter of debate, but current research suggests that the first arrivals came from East Polynesia sometime in the 13th century. It was not until 1642 that Europeans became aware of the existence of the islands.

British sovereignty was established under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi – a pact between Maori chiefs and the British government over land rights.

Detailed Information

The qualifications of New Zealand are issued and administered by New Zealand qualifications Authority (NZQA). The education system of New Zealand includes Universities.

  • There are 8 government-funded universities in New Zealand which is open to anyone who meets the common entrance qualification prescribed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
  • Polytechnics There are 20 polytechnics called as Institutes of Technology offer a wide range of courses.
  • Private Training Institutions There are over 800 private education providers, offering short-term English language courses for international students.

Educational institutes There are opportunities for learning at quality educational institutes in every region of New Zealand. To help you choose which region, which institute and which course is right for you:

  • Search for education providers on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.
  • Look at a list of all our universities [external website to help you compare what they have to offer. Each university has an international student section.
  • See the English New Zealand website – they are an association of English language providers.
  • Take a look at the Ministry of Education’s pages for international students.
  • Visit Education New Zealand’s student website New Zealand educated.com, for information on studying in New Zealand. Education New Zealand is a not-for-profit organization that supports the New Zealand export education industry and promotes New Zealand’s education services.

Foreign student fees Most international students must pay foreign student fees at New Zealand educational institutes. However, some international students are exempt from paying foreign student fees, because they are classed as a domestic student for fee-paying purposes. The Ministry of Education holds a complete list of whom is considered to be a domestic student for the purpose of fee payment and enrollment. Pastoral Care of International Students The Ministry of Education operates a Code of Practice that provides a framework for looking after international students. It covers pastoral care, accommodation and the provision of information. Industry Partnership with Education ProvidersImmigration New Zealand (INZ) is trialing an industry partnership initiative with selected education providers. Providers taking part in the pilot phase of this industry partnership will be able to choose, for individual offshore students, whether to support ‘streamlined’ visa processing. When choosing streamlined visa processing, the industry partner takes responsibility for ensuring the student:

  • Has sufficient maintenance funds,
  • Has genuine intentions to study,
  • Is choosing an appropriate course,
  • Meets all course entry requirements, and
  • Will adhere to the conditions of their visa and leave the country when required to do so.

If a provider chooses to support an individual for streamlined processing it will provide that individual with a letter of nomination. This letter of nomination must be submitted to the relevant INZ Visa Application Center along with a completed application form; all other required documentation; and the relevant fee.


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