Top Universities in New Zealand

An increasingly popular education destination, New Zealand’s higher education system offers the following main sectors:

  • Universities: there are eight universities in NZ which offer undergraduate and post-graduate degrees
  • Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics: New Zealand has 22 Institutes of Technology/ Polytechnics which offer vocational and skills-based courses, ranging from certificate level to bachelor degree and postgraduate level. 
  • Private tertiary and training institutions: Around 800 such institutions offer professional certificates, diplomas and degrees in a variety of subjects like arts, hospitality, computer studies, quality management, ecotourism and others.
  • Teacher training: New Zealand is internationally renowned for its excellent education standards and for training high-quality teachers.
  • English language training schools offer a variety of courses for all ages including adventure, business and academic programs.

NZ universities and colleges provide popular courses in the following study areas:

  • Agricultural & Veterinary Medicine
  • Applied and Pure Sciences
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Applied Technology
  • Environmental and sustainable engineering
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Education and Training
  • Health and Medicine
  • Fitness and Personal Care
  • Travel and Hospitality

The top five universities in New Zealand are:
University of Auckland is NZ’s largest and highest-ranked university (82nd in the world). It has eight faculties and six campuses with more than 33,000 students. It is located in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, making it an attractive option for many international students.
University of Otago is NZ’s oldest higher education institution located in Dunedin, established in 1869. It ranks 173rd in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. The university has more than 20,000 students in its four divisions – humanities, sciences, health sciences and business.
University of Canterbury in Christchurch is NZ’s third-highest ranked university (211th in the world). It offers courses in arts, commerce, engineering, fine arts, forestry, health sciences, law, music, social work, speech and language pathology, science, sports coaching and teaching.
Victoria University of Wellington ranked 229th in the world teaches more than 20,000 students in its nine faculties best known for its programs in law, the humanities and some science disciplines.
Massey University (founded 1927) is one of the younger but one of the largest universities in New Zealand. Its main campuses are in Albany, Wellington and Palmerston North.
The other three universities – University of Waikato, Lincoln University and Auckland University of Technology are all ranked among the world’s top 500 institutions. Contact the XL Pathfinders team for more study options in New Zealand.