Education in New Zealand follows the three-tier model which includes primary schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and/or polytechnics.
Education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the New Zealand National Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training.
The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from late January until mid-December for primary and secondary schools and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.
Most schools cater for primary, intermediate, secondary school students:
|Years 1−6: Primary School (Ages 5−10)|
|Years 7−8: Intermediate School (Ages 11−12)|
|Years 9−13: Secondary School (Ages 13−18)|
Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology:
There are 23 government-funded polytechnics and institutes of technology in New Zealand. Programs offered in these institutions can be both academically and vocationally focused. Some institutions offer Year 1 of a degree program, with subsequent years being completed at a university.
Private Tertiary and Training Establishments:
There are a growing number of private tertiary and training providers offering an alternative study option. They offer a range of programs including professional certificates, diplomas and degrees in a diverse range of subjects including art, the hospitality industry, computer studies, secretarial studies, quality management, ecotourism and others.
New Zealand National Qualifications Framework (NQF):
The NQF is made up of nationally endorsed standards and qualifications. NQF standards and qualifications are developed by nationally recognized standard setting bodies (SSBs) and quality assured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
All Qualifications within NQF are divided into levels based on complexity of the skills and knowledge imparted. The levels do not equate to 'years spent learning’ but reflect the content of the qualification. The following qualifications are available on the NQF:
NQF Qualifications and Levels:
|8||postgraduate diplomas and certificates
bachelor's honours degree
graduate diplomas and certificates