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Study in New Zealand: Know top universities, courses and admission cycle

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Study in New Zealand- Historically, New Zealand was considered one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Presently, not only its natives but over 1,30,000 international students have been aspired to travel and pursue their higher studies in New Zealand (statistics of 2017) as it is one of the fastest growing study abroad destinations in the world for varied grounds. A major reason behind the increasing popularity of universities of the ‘land of the long white cloud’ among international candidates is the availability of world-class education and international exposure at an affordable cost as compared to education hubs in the USA and Australia, irrespective of courses. To cite an example, the tuition fee for an MBA programme in New Zealand will cost between NZD25,000 - 45,000, whereas the same programme from Australia would cost around AUD50,000 while that from the USA would demand a whopping USD 65,000. Having said that, the country also boasts of some illustrious universities like The University of Auckland, University of Canterbury and University of Otago, among the rest. Statistically, there are eight state-funded universities, 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and approximately 550 Private Training Establishments (PTEs) in New Zealand. Typically, the language of instruction in NZ educational institutions is English which makes it feasible for the majority of students across the world pursue study in New Zealand. The ITP’s and PTE’s offer diploma, certificate, and vocational courses. While ITP courses are degree level, PTE’s offer certificate and diploma courses in specific vocational programmes. If one is planning to study in New Zealand, he/she should start with an in-depth research pertaining to the universities in the Kiwi nation. Candidates must pen down all the important aspects including offered courses, admission deadlines, lifestyle, logistics etc. Once the university is finalised, the next stage is to understand the New Zealand admission cycle. The admission cycle of New Zealand comprises the entire process right from research to the start of the session. Careers360, in this article, vividly projects the admission cycle of New Zealand including the visa cycle, top 20 universities, scholarships, eligibility etc that will aid in planning study in New Zealand.

Study in New Zealand: Country Introduction

Apart from being one of the developed countries, New Zealand is a beautiful island country situated to the east of Australia in the Pacific ocean. Renowned for the flightless bird kiwi, volcanoes and hot water springs; New Zealand is predominantly urban with a major concentration in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton; ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Wellington in the Northern Island is the capital city. With its unique tradition, culture, welcoming people and folklores, New Zealand is an established hotspot of activities with something for everybody. Students get to indulge in a number of activities. Divided into a north and south island, New Zealand’s climate is predominantly temperate maritime. Popular destinations include Lake Tekapo, Hawke’s Bay, the Southern Alps, Tasman glacier. Life in a country like New Zealand is peaceful and provides the right stimulus for an enlightening education. According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2017 ranking, New Zealand has bagged the second most peaceful place to live. The country is coming up as a study destination as it offers education at par with the western countries and at an affordable cost.

Study in New Zealand: Top Universities in New Zealand 2018

With a university within the top hundred, New Zealand attracts a lot of international students annually and the number is increasing over the years resulting in more than 1,30,000 foreign students who have enrolled for both public and private institutions across the world in 2017. A steady rise of 18 percent more Chinese students have been observed as compared with the start of April last year - an extra 3700 students. The number of students from Latin American nations went up 31 percent, and the number from south-east Asia went up by six percent the previous year. However, there were 4199 fewer Indian students at the start of April, observed a drop of 24 percent. A large number of aspirants opt for short term and long term courses at Private Training Establishments (PTEs) for study in New Zealand as well. Business Management and Social sciences are the top courses students look forward to studying in New Zealand followed by Engineering and Agricultural Science. So, prior to the application process and test preparation, prospective students should be informed about the programmes most sought after by an international candidate to study in New Zealand. Popular student destinations are the University of Auckland, University of Otago, ACG Yoobee School of Design, NZMA, etc. The University of Auckland is ranked 82 according to the QS World University Rankings 2017—2018.

Top Universities in New Zealand 2018

 

S.No

 

University

QS Rank

THE Rank

ARWU Rank

2018

2017

2018

2017

2017

2016

1

The University of Auckland

82

81

192

165

201-300

151-200

2

University of Otago

151

169

201–250

201–250

301-400

301-400

3

University of Canterbury

214

214

351–400

351–400

401-500

301-400

4

Victoria University of Wellington

219

228

401–500

351–400

301-400

301-400

5

University of Waikato

292

324

351–400

401–500

 

 

6

Massey University

316

340

401–500

401–500

 

 

7

Lincoln University

319

343

 

401–500

 

 

8

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

441-450

441-450

401–500

501–600

 

 

Study in New Zealand: Admission Cycle

Understanding the admission cycle is crucial for all aspirants, irrespective of any foreign country for that matter. It impacts the chances of making into the desired university of one’s choice. Therefore, candidates aspiring to study in New Zealand should be thorough with the admission cycle of New Zealand as that would help candidates plan accordingly so that they have ample time to apply to universities and manage other elements of application as well.

New Zealand’s academic session commences between February and March. However, some universities have different intake periods. Therefore, the best way to start with the application procedure is to get the precise information from the department concerned to avoid missing out on deadline dates related to admission. Not all university accepts applications after their deadlines. Once candidates are aware of the application deadlines they can start preparing for the standardised tests, including the English proficiency tests namely IELTS, Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), Paper-based TOEFL, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE), Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.

 

New Zealand admission cycle 2018-19 (For example):

Institute

Level of study

Application deadline

The University of Auckland

UG

December 8, 2018

PG

December 8, 2018

University of Otago

UG

October 31,  2018 (Feb 2019 intake)

PG

October 31,  2018 (Feb 2019 intake)

University of Canterbury

UG

November 1, 2018 (Feb 2019 intake)

PG

November 1, 2018 (Feb 2019 intake)

Massey University

UG

October 31, 2018

PG

October 31, 2018

University of Waikato

UG

December 1, 2018

PG

December 1, 2018

Lincoln University

UG

December 1,  2018

PG

December 1, 2018

Auckland University of Technology

UG

December 9, 2018

PG

December 9, 2018

Victoria University of Wellington

UG

December 1, 2018

PG

December 1, 2018

Source- Official university websites

 

Study in New Zealand: Timeline of Admission Cycle (Guidelines)

Month

Timeline

July (previous year):

Research your options

August

Register for the standardised tests and appear for the same

September

Prepare the application package and get your test scores

October

Start applying to chosen universities

December

Applications close

Dec-January

Colleges start replying to applications

December

Prepare your finances, explore scholarships and apply for education loans

January

Apply for the Students Visa

March

Departure preparations

March

Session starts

Please note that for the March intake, a majority of New Zealand admission deadlines are scheduled in December of the previous year. Also, New Zealand admission deadlines may vary depending on the universities as well as their respective departments. For instance, University of Otago’s application deadline is October much earlier than the other universities with a February intake. Also, the New Zealand admission deadlines for domestic and international students are completely different; therefore one must cross-check the deadlines before you apply.

 

Study in New Zealand: Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for distinct levels of study, namely undergraduate and postgraduate programmes differ in terms of educational qualification, countries where aspirants hail from, universities where applying to. Students should be well-versed with the eligibility criteria so that their applications do not get rejected on the eligibility grounds.

 

Following table displays the eligibility criteria of a few top universities in New Zealand pertaining to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses-

Name of University

Undergraduate Eligibility Criteria

Postgraduate Eligibility Criteria

The University of Auckland

  • IELTS (Academic)- 6.0

  • TOEFL (iBT) - 80

  • TOEFL (paper-based)- 550

  • CAE or CPE- 169 with no bands less than - 162

  • PTE Academic-50

  • MELAB- 80

  • Indian School Certificate or All India Senior School Certificate- Each subject requires different scores. For example- B.A course demands 75 percent, whereas BE(Hons) demands 82 percent overall with an average of 85 percent in Physics and Mathematics.

  • SAT Scores- 1375- BE(Hons) and 1150 for BA programme

 

  • IELTS- 6.0

  • TOEFL (iBT) - 90

  • TOEFL (paper-based)- 575

  • CAE or CPE- 176

  • PTE Academic-58

  • MELAB- 85

  • Candidates must have completed a bachelors (honours) degree or postgraduate diploma from a recognised university.

  • Previous work experience may be taken into account.

University of Otago

  • IELTS (Academic)- 6.0 (no individual band below 6.0)

  • Internet-based TOEFL score of 80 (minimum writing score of 20)

 

  • IELTS (Academic)- 6.0 (no individual band below 6.0)

  • Internet-based TOEFL score of 80 (minimum writing score of 20)

  • A postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma

  • If a candidate holds an honours degree or postgraduate diploma, he/she may be eligible for master’s study by thesis only. In some cases, if one holds a bachelor’s degree, he/she may apply for a coursework master’s degree or for master’s study by coursework and thesis.

University of Canterbury

  • IELTS Academic: Average score of 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking

  • TOEFL iBT: Total minimum score of 80, with at least 19 in Reading, Writing and Listening

  • TOEFL PBT: With a minimum score of 550 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5

  • Pearson Test of English (Academic)PTE: Overall score of 57 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50

  • Complete an academic qualification substantially taught in English.

 

  • IELTS Academic: Band of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking

  • TOEFL iBT: Minimum score of 90, a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Writing and Listening

  • TOEFL PBT: Minimum score of 575 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5

  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) PTE: Overall score of 64 and no PTE communicative skills score below 58

  • A postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma from a recognised university.

Study in New Zealand: Fee specifications

For international students planning to study in New Zealand, it is imperative to consider the cost of studying in the country as well. While tuition fee varies as per the university, level of study and programme of study, the living expenses are more or less same across the country. Moreover, the tuition fees are subject to change and are reviewed annually by universities/colleges. To cite an example, the tuition fee charged by the University of Canterbury is NZD $24,300 for undergraduate BA course and NZD $41,000 for Bachelor of Engineering with Honours programme. For postgraduate studies, they charge NZD$ 54,400 for MBA (2018) which will be revised to NZD$ 57,200 for 2019 batch of students, for Master of Engineering Study the charges are NZD$ 39,000(2018) and revised to NZD$ 42,000 for 2019. A Masters of Management programme at the University of Auckland may cost upwards US$ 39000 and a Masters International Business would cost around US$ 51000. These are the course fee alone, the living expenditure ranges between the US $13000– the US $20000 annually will be an added expense. However, the Private Training Establishments (PTEs) are more cost-effective in comparison to the Universities in New Zealand. Universities do offer scholarships to deserving foreign candidates for varied programmes. A number of universities in New Zealand offer online degree programmes that cost much less.

 

Study in New Zealand: Scholarships

Studying abroad is a major investment for a candidate and his/her family. A scholarship might just provide the helping hand to make university life a little easier in a foreign country. Several universities offer a range of scholarships pertaining to respective domains like Engineering, MBA programmes. The recognising factors, namely academic excellence or sporting achievement are taken into consideration for offering the scholarship to study in New Zealand. Others have an emphasis on social inclusion and equality and are awarded on the basis of financial need or other hardship. Some of the scholarships offered by some of the famed universities are as the following-

Name of University

Level of Study

Related Subject/Condition

Name of Scholarship

University of Otago

Doctoral

Students pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Otago

  • University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship

 

University of Canterbury

Undergraduate

Engineering

  • UC College of Engineering International Scholarship

  • Brian Morrison Memorial Scholarships in Engineering

Postgraduate

Engineering

 

Any subject

  • UC College of Engineering International Scholarship

  • UC International First Year Scholarship

The University of Auckland

Undergraduate

For international students undertaking a postgraduate diploma taught masters or undergraduate degree

 

For citizens of Asian countries to complete a BCom or BProp degree programme.

 

 

Available to undergraduate students after their second year of study.

 

  • University of Auckland International Student Scholarships

  • Dean's Asia Scholarships in the Faculty of Business and Economics

  • Summer Research Scholarships

Postgraduate

The Scholarship supports international students to enrol in specified postgraduate programmes at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and successfully establish themselves in Auckland.

 

 

For international students interested in the Master of Management, Master of International Business, Master of Marketing or Master of Professional Accounting degree

  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Postgraduate International Student Scholarship

  • University of Auckland International Business Masters Scholarships

There are some country-specific scholarships awarded to candidates. Some of the top scholarships for Indian students are A C Rayner Memorial Scholarship, The Eamon Molloy Memorial Scholarship, University of Waikato Excellence Scholarship for Asia, University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship to name a few.

 

Study in New Zealand: New Zealand Admission and Visa cycle

The number of aspirants wishing to pursue higher education in New Zealand is increasing every year, so it is important to understand the visa issuance policy if one wants to study in New Zealand. International students need a student visa to study in New Zealand depending on the nature and duration of the chosen programmes. Here is the list of documents required for acquiring the New Zealand Student Visa:

  • Proof of Identity- Candidates’ Passport is the proof of identity. Also, a certified copy of the birth certificate, national identity card or driving license would be required.

  • Letter of Acceptance- The visa application will only be entertained if candidates have been offered a place of study at a New Zealand institution.

  • Health insurance proof- It is usually required to maintain a medical, and in some cases travel, insurance while one is studying in New Zealand, which covers the entire stay in the country.

  • Proof of enough financial resources - Having sufficient funds is a necessary pre-requisite when applying for a student visa to study in New Zealand. Importantly, the document showing adequate financial resources shouldn’t only cover tuition fee and other academic expenses, but non-academic expenditures like accommodation, air-fare to and from your home country as well. Also, while tuition fee varies from programme to programme, Immigration to New Zealand has a fixed financial requirement that he/she must meet to support oneself in New Zealand.

As proof of adequate resources to support yourself in New Zealand, candidates can produce any of the following proofs:

  • NZD$ 1,250 for each month if the programme of study is less than nine months
  • NZD$ 15,000 for each year if the programme of study is longer than nine months
  • A scholarship, such as a New Zealand Aid Programme scholarship, or
  • a sponsor or family member who has agreed to take care of the financial responsibility while the student is in NZ (New Zealand).
  • Health certificate- Depending on the place of origin and the tenure of stay in NZ, one might be required to provide health certificates with his/her application.

    Documents related to your employment history: If applicants have prior work experience, they might be required to give documentary evidence.

  • Proof of English proficiency: Applicants can furnish details of English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL, depending on the requirement of the chosen university.

  • Visa Photo Specifications: For Paper applications, photos need to be 35mm wide and 45mm high while for the online applications, visa photos must meet the following size requirements-

  1. Visa photo should be recent (less than six months old)

  2. Coloured photograph taken against a plain, light background ( but not white)

  3. Photo file size needs to be between 500KB and 3MB

  4. Photo must have dimensions between 900 x 1200 pixels and 2250 x 3000 pixels (in a 3:4 aspect ratio)

International students who desire to pursue an education in New Zealand for more than three months will require a student visa. As soon as the application is approved, candidates will have to contact the New Zealand Immigration office to apply for the student visa. The best time to apply for the New Zealand student visa is three (3) to four (4) months before the commencement of the academic session.

 

Study in New Zealand: Key facts of student visa

If a candidate is an overseas national and flying to New Zealand to study for more than three months, he/she will need a student visa. To qualify for a student visa, one must enrol in a full-time course. Once the visa has been approved, applicants cannot change to a part-time course. The University is obliged to notify Immigration New Zealand if candidates appeal to shift to part-time study from the full-time programme or discontinue the selected course.

 

The categories are self-explanatory and most of them are valid for four years except Pathway Student Visa and Dependent Child Student Visa. Pathway student Visa is for candidates who aspire to do three consecutive courses using a single visa. This is valid for five years. All student visas allow students to work for 20 hours per week during the academic session and full time during breaks and vacation. The Dependent Child Student Visa holders are not permitted to work though. The cost of visa application varies depending on the nationality of the applicant and the place from which the application is submitted.

 

Visa specifications

Tenure of Study

Name of Visa

Visa Validity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than six (6) months

Fee Paying Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

Pathway Student Visa

Up to five (5) years

Exchange Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

New Zealand Aid Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

Limited Visa

For the time allowed by the visa to achieve your express purpose

Vocational Trainee Student Visa

For the length of the programme of study at Manukau Polytechnic (Nautical students) or the length of the award up to 12 months (New Zealand Aid Programme Short-Term Training Award trainees)

Visitor Visa

Depending on the applicant’s plans, up to nine (9) months

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than six (6) months

Fee Paying Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

Exchange Student Visa

Up to four (4) years depending on the length of your exchange

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

Up to four (4) years

Pathway Student Visa

Up to five (5) years

Dependent Child Student Visa

A dependent child can stay for the same length of time as their parent’s visa: Age Range- 19 years and under

Vocational Trainee Student Visa

For the length of the programme of study at Manukau Polytechnic (Nautical students) or the length of the award up to 12 months (New Zealand Aid Programme Short-Term Training Award trainees)

Limited Visa

For the time allowed by the visa to achieve your express purpose

Study in New Zealand: Living Expenses

The cost of living primarily depends on the student’s lifestyle and which part of the country he/she lives in as some costs vary by region. The cost of study varies from the undergraduate degree to postgraduate degrees. Typically, an undergraduate degree costs between NZ$ 22,000 and NZ$ 32,000 per year with higher fee structure for subjects like medicine and veterinary science. Usually, Bachelor’s degree can be completed in three years. A postgraduate programme costs between NZ$ 26,000 and NZ$ 37,000 per year with the higher fee structure for subjects like medicine and veterinary science. The International PhD students pay the same as national New Zealand PhD students, which is about NZ$ 6,500 to NZ$ 9,000 per year for most of the subjects.

 

Cost of living in New Zealand

Accommodation costs

NZ$ 440 ( Rent for a three to four-bedroom house per week). NZ$ 510 in Auckland.

Power

Most students have a choice of four to nine energy retailers, each with various plans to choose from.

Internet

NZ$ 19

Mobile phone

NZ$ 19

Food

Auckland NZ$ 64, Wellington NZ$ 64, Christchurch NZ$ 63, and Dunedin NZ$ 65. Prices vary depending on where one chooses to shop or eat.

Entertainment

NZ$ 40 - NZ$ 50

Transport

New Zealand cities and most towns have bus services, and some areas offer cheaper bus fares for students as well. Auckland and Wellington have train services to outer suburbs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q> Is there any age bar to apply for student visa?

Ans> If you are a new student who has been offered a place of study at an approved New Zealand educational institute, you can apply for a study visa irrespective of your age. Continuing students also needn’t have to worry about age limits, but must submit a confirmation of enrollment as a returning student.

 

Q> What happens when my Student Visa expires? (Please cover answer to "What happens when my Student Visa expires and I want to pursue an additional programme?")

Ans> You are not permitted to stay in New Zealand and pursue further studies if the validity of your student visa expires. If you unlawfully stay in New Zealand after your visa has expired, you may be deported. So, the ideal thing to do is to apply for visa renewal before the expiry of your visa.

You can renew your student visa yourself online, or through your education provider, on campus. However, if your education provider fails to renew your visa, you should apply online through Immigration New Zealand. The waiting time for visa approval is around two weeks if applied through Immigration New Zealand.

Also note that you are required to renew your student visa every year, barring some exceptions.

 

Q> How do I check the status of my application? (Please cover answer to "Is there a way of getting my application processed sooner than the regular?")

Ans> You can check the status of your student visa application through VFS Global New Zealand.

Steps to check the status of your New Zealand Student Visa:

  • Go to VFS New Zealand Homepage

  • Click Track Your Application

  • Enter your receipt number and date of birth

  • Click submit


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