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Education is one of the most important consideration for parents. Every parent wants to give their children the best opportunities they can and New Zealand offers a world class education system. Excellent public government funded schools, usually co-ed, private schools both co-ed and single sex, and home schooling are all available in New Zealand.

Education is compulsory for every child between the ages of six and sixteen, however, most children start school as a new entrant on their fifth birthday and don’t leave until they have completed their high school learning at age 17 or 18. It is generally run as; Primary School (Year One to Year Six) for children five to 11 years old, Intermediate School (Year Seven and Eight) for children 11 to 13 years old and Secondary School (Year Nine to Year 13) for children 13 to 17 years old. Most intermediate schools are now consolidated with either a primary school or secondary school. Secondary schools are also known as High School or College in New Zealand. The school year is divided into four terms starting in late January through to early to mid December with two week breaks between each term (January – April, April – July, July – September, October – December).

English, mathematics, science, the arts, social sciences, health and physical education is top on the national curriculum. Schooling in New Zealand was traditionally based on the UK model, however, has changed in recent years towards a more learning outcome focus.

All schools have a decile rating between one and ten. Decile ratings are determined by factoring household income, parent’s occupations, household crowding, parent’s qualifications and parents on income support. Decile One 1 schools generally are in the most socio-economic disadvantaged areas with Decile 10 schools usually in the most socio-economic advantaged areas. For more information about schooling in New Zealand see the Ministry of Education website and for specific information on decile ratings see which provides a downloadable excel spreadsheet with every schools contact details and decile rating.

Higher decile schools and private schools usually boast a greater parent and teacher involvement which encourages higher expectations and results, particularly academically. The arts, sports and extra-curricular activities are highly encouraged by all schools.

Public schools, while government funded, do ask parents for a donation to boost their budget enabling them to provide their students with better resources. The amounts vary from school to school dramatically but are generally around $100 to $200 per year at primary school level and $150 to $500 at secondary level. Private schools cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 per term. School uniforms, stationary and school trips are paid for separately by parents.

There are various options of preschool care available, both private and government subsidised. Private preschool care can be very expensive so it pays to look at all options. There are a number of play centres which provide a location and play equipment. These are run simply by the parents working together and are more common in small towns and rural areas. Government subsidized kindergartens are run daily and offer both morning sessions for the older children and afternoon sessions for the younger ones. Private preschool and day care centres are open between the hours of 7am and 6pm and set their own fees which vary depending upon the age of the child being cared for. Home based carers, caring for a small number of children in the carer’s own home, are also popular, times and fees are usually hourly based.

There are eight main universities in New Zealand offering graduate degrees and undergraduate diplomas in the arts, sciences and commerce amongst other specialized subjects. There are 25 polytechnic institutes offering vocational training such as trades, fashion, journalism and tourism and six Colleges of Education which offer teacher training. There are numerous private tertiary educational facilities offering everything from learning English as a Foreign Language to Bachelor of International Business and MBA’s. A downloadable directory of all tertiary facilities can be found at The university websites are;;;;;; and

A bachelors degree can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $3,500 per year with the average being $3,500. New Zealand citizens and residents are entitled to student loans with nominal interest rates.

Students travel from all over the world to study in New Zealand with many of the universities and tertiary educational facilities saving numerous places especially for international students. They benefit from the studying, the experience and the lifestyle they can enjoy in New Zealand. So if you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand to study, be sure to contact an immigration consultant to assist you with your move.

Category Immigration Consultants | Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010


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