The New Zealand education system is broadly divided into:
Tertiary Education Sector:
There are eight universities in New Zealand which run undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Universities are research-based and state-owned. The academic year runs from March to November (though some courses may start in January or July).
New Zealand polytechnics are established under the Education Act 1989 as amended, and are considered state-owned tertiary institutions along with universities, colleges of education, and wãnanga. New Zealand has 22 Institutes of Technology or Polytechnics. These Institutes are state owned and the academic year is the same as universities. Courses are usually vocational and skills-based, ranging from certificate level through to Degree and postgraduate level. Polytechnics also offer short full-time and part-time courses. These courses are scheduled throughout the year.
There are a growing number of private tertiary and training providers offering an alternative study option. They offer a range of programmes including professional certificates, diplomas and degrees in a diverse range of subjects including arts, the hospitality industry, computer studies, secretarial studies, quality management, ecotourism and others. Over 800 such establishments are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). About a quarter of these are Maori owned and operated.
New Zealand is internationally recognised for its excellent education standards and as a provider of quality teachers. There are six government-funded specialist education institutions, two operating from within universities and the others offering their programmes in collaboration with their local university. They offer training for teachers from early childhood to primary, secondary, special and tertiary (higher education) level.
Wãnanga is the term for the Mãori education providers which provide tertiary education and advanced study on Mãori tradition and custom, usually in the Mãori language.
English Language Training Sector:
Private English language schools offer a variety of courses for all ages including adventure, business and academic programmes. Adventure courses provide a balance of English language tuition and a stimulating activity of students’ choice. There are courses in English for business purposes and English to prepare students for academic study with TOEFL or IELTS testing. Most tertiary institutions also provide English language preparation for further study or foundation courses.
New Zealand School Education Sector:
Schooling in New Zealand consists of 6 years of primary schooling followed by two years of intermediate schooling, culminating in 5 years of high schooling, for a total of 13 years. This provides the full-time education to New Zealand children from six years of age until they are sixteen. All schools are funded by the New Zealand Education Ministry or are privately owned.
State schools are funded by the New Zealand Government and are mostly co-educational day schools.
There are many private schools in New Zealand and they all Conform to the nationally set curriculum. Many private schools offer single-sex education and have special philosophical or religious features.
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