Would you like to study on cheap tuition in New Zealand? If yes, we understand why! This country seems to have everything figured out- renowned universities, high quality of life, amazing communities, lively student cities, mesmerizing natural scenery and an unbeatable range of outdoor activities, all within an arm’s reach. Beautiful cities such as Auckland and Wellington have an avalanche of cultural activities, while students with a passion for outdoor events will encounter a mind-blowing range of terrains – including glaciers, mountains, rainforest and of course plenty of coastline.
Applying to universities in New Zealand
Generally,the academic year for universities in New Zealand run from March to November. However, a few programs allow students to begin in July. Most universities in New Zealand operate just two terms (semesters), except Victoria University of Wellington, which runs three terms (trimesters).
In addition to having a completed secondary level qualifications recognized by New Zealand’s universities, applicants are expected to prove English language proficiency, usually by sitting for the IELTS or TOEFL exams. Note that New Zealand does not run a centralized university applications service, so students are expected to apply individually to each university they would love to attend, while adhering to the steps listed out on the official university website. Deadlines for admission are determined by each institution. Once you’ve been accepted and paid your initial tuition deposit, the university will email you a ‘confirmed offer of place’ letter, which you’ll use to apply for your student visa.
Fees and funding
Typically, tuition fees in New Zealand vary based on the institution and the course. Anyways, according to the official Study in Zealand website, international undergraduate students should budget around NZ$22,000-32,000 (~US$14,800-21,540) per year, with higher tuition for courses such as medicine and veterinary science.
At postgraduate level, international students would pay between NZ$26,000-37,000 (~US$17,500-24,900) per year for a master’s level course and NZ$6,500-$9,000 (~US4,400-6,050) per year for a PhD program (same tuition as domestic students).
Based on the university, you may also need to pay a fee for student services.
Living Expenses in New Zealand
Living expenses in New Zealand are a bit cheaper than those in popular nations such as the US and the UK, but more expensive than in countries such as Malaysia or China. If you apply for your student visa, you’ll have to prove that you have at least NZ$15,000 a year for cover living expenses, in addition to funds to cover your course fees and return airfare. However, the recommended fees to budget for living costs is NZ$20,000-25,000 (~US$13,460-16,830) per year, although you may have to budget more based on your lifestyle and spending habits.
As it is with any country, some cities are more cheaper than others. Auckland and Wellington are the most expensive student cities to live in New Zealand, although they are both nonetheless rated as more affordable than cities such as New York and London in Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey. You should expect to spend roughly NZ$200-350 (~US$135-235) on a rented space and NZ$100-150 (~US$67-100) on groceries per week in Auckland.
The primary accommodation options are the halls of residence at your institution, private rental, and homestays, in which you’d live comfortably with a host family and have your meals included in the monthly rent. We would encourage you to choose a homestay as it is a good way to practise speaking English (if english is not your first language) and experience the local culture and lifestyle.
There are various scholarships available to support students who want to study in New Zealand, including some awarded by the country’s government. The Education New Zealand website has a search tool which allows you to search for scholarships relevant to your nationality, course and/or study level.
While it’s not a good idea to rely heavily on income from a part-time student job, your student visa will allow you to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during semester breaks. Those undertaking a Masters by Research or PhD have unlimited number of hours they can work.
Applying to universities in New Zealand
The academic year for universities in New Zealand runs from March to November. However, some it is possible some programs may also allow students to begin their program in July. Most universities in New Zealand run just two terms (semesters), except Victoria University of Wellington, which runs three terms (trimesters).
In addition to having a completed secondary level qualifications recognized by New Zealand’s universities, applicants will be required to prove English language proficiency, usually by sitting for the IELTS or TOEFL exams. New Zealand does not run a centralized university applications service, so students have to apply individually to the university they’re interested in, carefully following the steps outlined on the official university websites. Deadlines for this are determined by each institution. Once you’ve been accepted and paid your fees, the university will email you a ‘confirmed offer of place’ letter, which you’ll need when applying for a student visa.
List of Universities
University of Auckland
The University of Auckland is currently New Zealand’s largest and highest-ranked university. Actually, it ranks 85th in the world, using data from QS World University Rankings 2019. Founded sometime back in 1883, it was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand before it was dissolved sometime in 1961. The university runs eight faculties and six campuses, and houses more than 40,000 students. It’s based in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, which makes it an even more attractive choice for thousands of students from around the globe.
University of Otago University of Otago
This is New Zealand’s oldest university, and was established in 1869. It is New Zealand’s second university in the QS World University Rankings 2019, ranked joint 175th globally. The university, which has the motto “Dare to be wise”, currently teaches more than 20,800 students in its four faculties (humanities, sciences, health sciences and business). It is based in Dunedin, which is the second-largest city on the South Island.