New Zealand, known for its scenic beauty, peaceful and charming environs and sparse population, is rapidly becoming a higher education hub for students from all over the world especially South East Asia. It has an international reputation for quality education offering a wide range of academic, professional and vocational courses in the arena of hospitality, business, biotechnology and education. Auckland University of Technology, Lincoln University, Massey University and University of Otago are some of the top ranking universities in New Zealand.
The education system in New Zealand comprises of state-owned universities, colleges, polytechnics and wananga institutions, which have been set up by the Government. In addition, there are around 860 private training establishments (PTEs), which are privately owned and funded offering qualifications in a large number of vocations from scuba diving to hospitality to business.
New Zealand like Australia has a flexible education system with courses ranging from diplomas, advanced diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs to research programs.
At undergraduate level the students can opt for either degree or diploma programs or pathway programs where a diploma leads to degree. The admission requirements include completion of 12 years of education with good scores and fulfilling the English language requirement.
For applying to postgraduate programs the student must possess a three years bachelor’s degree in the respected field with a first class i.e. 60%, fulfill specific course requirements and demonstrate proficiency in English language.
Possession of considerable work experience – a minimum of two years, consistent academic records and GMAT and language proficiency scores are some of the criteria for admission to an MBA program.
English Language requirement:
A good number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses require an IELTS score of 6.0 bands. Some diploma courses, however, accept a score of 5.5 bands. Business and research programs at certain universities require an IELTS score of 7.0 bands or more.
New Zealand universities have two intakes – end of February and end of July. The admission formalities take around 6-8 months. The student needs to fill the online or paper-based course specific application form and send all the supporting documents to the International admissions office. If the application is successful, the candidate receives an Unconditional offer letter and proceeds to apply for visa. Conditional offer letters are also issued if a student is yet to satisfy certain admission requirement, for example, IELTS score or the final year results of academic qualification being pursued by the student. In such cases the admission is provisional to satisfying the conditions placed on the offer letter.
Tuition & Living Costs:
The Tuition fee differs according to the university and course. Approximately an undergraduate degree would cost between 10000 to 18000 NZ $ per year whereas the fee for post graduate programs range between 14000 to 25000 NZ $ p.a. The average annual living costs are 10000 NZ $ though much depend on individual lifestyle and city of residence.
Very few universities and colleges offer scholarships to international students. Hence majority of the international students are full fee paying students.
New Zealand visa is a drop box visa and generally does not entail a personal interview. The student must ensure beforehand that the institution he is applying to is approved by New Zealand Qualifications Authority otherwise his visa would be rejected. On the basis of the offer letter received from the university the student has to fill up the visa application forms, attach offer letter from the university, academic records, experience certificates, statement of purpose, financial documents showing evidence of funds for study and living costs at New Zealand, test score cards, Supplementary Information Form, medical examination reports from panel doctor and demand draft in favor of New Zealand Immigration Service payable at New Delhi for the visa fee and courier them to the New Zealand Immigration Service office at New Delhi. After receipt of the visa file the immigration office conducts a thorough check into the credentials of the student by calling up past employers, academic institutions and also taking a telephonic interview of the candidate. Following the in-principle approval of visa, the student is required to disburse the 1st semester fees for the course and send his passport for stamping of visa along with the fee transfer receipt. The fee transfer receipt may also be emailed directly by the academic institution to Immigration New Zealand office.
Major industries in New Zealand include hospitality, biotech and Information Technology. The job prospects and growth potential in the above fields is immense. The path to permanent residency is comparatively easier as being a less populated nation most people are able to get permanent residency status within 3 years of their working full time.