Education in New Zealand

Education in New Zealand

There is not a country that would embrace the beautiful fantasy world of The Lord of the Rings more successfully than New Zealand. Wild, savage beauty of this land has been like a magnet for people from different corners of the world for centuries. Even today, when travelling is so easy – just buy a ticket and go wherever your heart goes, – New Zealand remains something inaccessible and magical. What else should we think about this country if only 5% of its population is human and 95% - animals? It is not complicated at all to believe that hobbits, elves, dwarfs, and wizards live there indeed.

Talking about School System

Breathtaking beauty of this country's nature might be truly savage, but the country’s education system is more than modern and advanced. In reality it is called one of the most effective systems on our planet. To begin with, New Zealand public schools get plenty of funds. This makes parents happy to let their kids attend a public school and not to a private one. Secondly, New Zealanders, or Kiwis, realized long time ago that students need more than memorizing things. Children can theorize as long as teachers want, but theory does not mean anything without practice. Thus, public schools here are rather open-minded and allow students to explore the world. Students are more than welcome to do whatever enhances better learning. Not only does this approach help children understand school subjects better, but also prepares them for college.

How Does the System of Education Here Look Like?

There are three stages of education in this country:

  • Early Childhood Education (from birth to age 5-6);
  • Primary and Secondary Education (age 5 to 19);
  • Further Education (vocational schools,universities, etc.).

New Zealand early Childhood Education

It is worth mentioning that only education for children who are 6 to 16 years old is compulsory. Yet, around 95% of children participate in early childhood education. There are different kinds of early childhood education services in this country. They can be led by teachers, parents, or whānau (caregivers). Teachers who lead early education service have to be fully licensed and must meet all the standards set by the country's Government. Parents and caregivers who are involved into such a service are also licensed. This way they get a fantastic opportunity to learn about education and upbringing and become active members of their community.

Primary and Secondary Education

For children, if they are citizens of permanent residents of New Zealand, public education is free. Public schools here are technologically advanced and offer a lot of extracurricular activities. Students can attend drama or music classes or play in one of the school sports teams. Students get fantastic opportunities to travel with their classmates and explore the gorgeous nature of New Zealand and its rich flora and fauna. There are three types of schools in the country:

  • Public schools, which are subsidized by the government. They are free, and parent only need to pay small fees for materials and uniforms. Children attend these schools depending on where they live. Such a system is called ‘zoning’.
  • State-integrated religious schools. Such institutions are designed for families that want their kids to obtain religious education. They are free as well.
  • Private schools require tuition fees. Parents choose these institutions for their children if they want them to focus more on a specific subject or just get a more intense education.
It is important to mention that there are Kura Kaupapa Māori schools where the entire learning process is based on Māori traditions and culture. Of course, education in these institutions is held in Māori. It is great that traditions of native people in New Zealand are preserved and paid so much attention to.

New Zealand Further Education

Except traditional vocational schools, colleges, and universities, New Zealanders can get higher education in wānanga. Wānanga is a public educational institution which offers education based on Māori culture. Although it focuses on Māori traditions, it is similar to standard college and universities. Just like students of traditional higher education institutions, students of wānanga get certificated and diplomas. Some of these schools also offer master’s and Ph.D. degrees in several fields. A lot of foreigners come to visit and study in the country’s universities and colleges. The make a very smart decision because New Zealand offers brilliant education, amazing weather, and a lot of things to do for those who seek adventure.

Best Universities in the Country

One of the greatest universities here is the University of Auckland. It is the largest and one of the oldest schools in the country. Students can choose one of the ten faculties and study whatever they are interested in: law, arts, business, bioengineering, etc. Today more than 330,000 students are enrolled in various programs at this university. Located in the biggest city of New Zealand, the University of Auckland becomes the most attractive school for local and foreign students. Other universities that are also extremely popular with students from New Zealand and foreign countries are the University of Canterbury, Massey University, University of Otago, etc. So, if you ever consider studying abroad, let New Zealand be one of our primary options. Relatively low fees and fantastic, fairy-tale nature will impress you for sure. We do not see why you should not go to New Zealand and enjoy this great country and its fascinating culture.