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Education in New Zealand

Education in New Zealand is nominally free for all Primary, Intermediate and Secondary schooling. However, most schools also ask for a "Donation" from parents and often call this a school fee.

Table of contents
1 Attendance requirements
2 Educational Institutions
3 Funding
4 External links

Attendance requirements

Attendance at a school is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16, although most children start school on their 5th birthday and a significant number of students spend 13 years in the school system.

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions consist of the following categories:

Early childhood education

Primary and secondary education

While there is overlap in some schools, primary school ends at Year 8, and secondary education at Year 13. Outside of the following categories, many private schools, state area schools and state integrated schools take students from Years 0 to 13, or Years 7 to 13.

There are two 'kinds' of schools: state and private (aka 'registered') schools. A subtype of state school is the 'state integrated' school. These are private schools that are 'integrated' into the state system under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 [1] 'on a basis which will preserve and safeguard the special character of the education provided by them'.

Primary and Intermediate education

Middle schools

Secondary education

Area schools

The Correspondence School

Tertiary education

For non-private institutions, see also:
state sector organisations in New Zealand)

Colleges of Education (Teachers Colleges)


For a list of polytechnics, see:
state sector organisations in New Zealand

Private Training Establishments


for a list of wānanga, see:
state sector organisations in New Zealand



Tertiary Education Funding

Funding for tertiary education in New Zealand is through a combination of government subsidies and student fees. The government funds approved courses by a tuition grant based on the number of enrolled students in each course and the amount of study time each course requires. Courses are rated on an equivalent full-time Student (EFTS) basis. Students enrolled in courses can access Student Loans and Student Allowances to assist with fees and living costs.

Student Loans

The Student Loan Scheme is available to all New Zealand permanent residents and can cover course fees, course related expenses and can also provide a weekly living allowance for full time students. The loan must be repaid at a rate dependent on income and repayments are normally recovered via the income tax system by wage deductions. Low income earners and students in full time study can have the interest on their loans written off.

Student Allowances, which are non-refundable grants to students of limited means, are means tested and the weekly amount granted depends on residential and citizenship qualifications, age, location, marital status, dependent children as well as personal, spousal or parental income.

Funding for Tertiary Institutions has been criticised recently due to high fees and funding not keeping pace with costs or inflation. Some also point out that high fees are leading to skills shortages in New Zealand as high costs discourage participation and graduating students seek well paying jobs off shore to pay for their student loans debts. As a result, education funding has been undergoing an ongoing review in recent years.

See also: Education by country

External links