Cost and structure of education in New Zealand
|Program||Min. age||Duration||Min. cost||Avg. cost||Min. Language level||Exams|
|Summer camp||6+||1-10 weeks||697 USD/weekFood and accommodations included||950 USD/weekFood and accommodations included||A1||-|
|Language schools||6+||1-12 weeks||361 USD/week||728 USD/week||A1||-|
|Secondary education||11+||7 years||Free||14,569 USD/year||B1||-|
|Foundation||16+||6-18 months||11,402 USD/year||15,835 USD/year||B2||IELTS/TOEFL|
|College||16+||1-2 years||6,334 USD/year||10,768 USD/year||B2||IELTS/TOEFL|
|Bachelor’s||18+||3-4 years||11,528 USD/year||17,102 USD/year||B2||IELTS/TOEFL|
|Master's||21+||1-2 years||12,288 USD/year||19,953 USD/year||C1||IELTS/TOEFL|
|MBA||21+||1 year||23,342 USD/year||29,771 USD/year||C1||IELTS/TOEFL|
|Doctoral||22+||3-4 years||4,117 USD/year||4,909 USD/year||C1||IELTS/TOEFL|
Postsecondary education is divided into levels from 1 to 10. Each level corresponds to certain academic degrees or programs, has a certain list of skills and qualifications studied, and also gives the opportunity to apply for certain vacancies. More information about each level can be found on the official website of NZQA (New Zealand Qualification Authority).
|Degree/Program||Level||Duration||Number of credits|
|Bachelor's Degree||7||3-4 years||360-480|
|Graduate Diplomas||7||6-12 months||60-120|
|Postgraduate Diplomas, Bachelor's Degree with honors||8||6-12 months||60-120|
|Master's Degree||9||1-2 years||120-240|
|Doctoral Degree||10||3-4 years||360-480|
Foundation — Preparatory programs in New Zealand
For International students, special training programs similar to the British Foundation were developed. Typically, such courses last from 6 to 18 months. The curriculum consists of classes in English and subjects in chosen by the student fields. Many universities have their own preparatory programs, which offer their graduates various advantages: for example, transfer of credits or even guaranteed admission. Since classes are all in English, students entering the program must have a language certificate that proves English proficiency of at least B2 level. Applicants who do not meet this criterion can take additional pre-foundation courses, which usually last for about 6 extra months and are aimed exclusively at learning the language.
College — Vocational education in New Zealand
Vocational education is supervised by Industry Training Organizations (ITOs). They establish qualification levels and the requirements for obtaining them. Currently, there are about 30 such organizations. In connection with the planned education reform, the New Zealand government announced its intention to replace the existing ITOs with several advisory boards that will decide on professional qualifications and selection criteria for a specific industry.
As of today, in order to get a professional education in New Zealand students have the following options:
Youth Guarantee - is a program initiated by the European Union. It is a course that allows local students aged 16-19 to receive certificates of 1-3 levels for free. Such certificates open up employment opportunities.
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics. ITPs provide students with the opportunity to undergo technical or vocational training. Basically, the diplomas of such institutes correspond to levels 1-6, but some educational institutions also have bachelor’s programs, and sometimes even master's and doctoral programs. The curriculum and topics studied are based on general knowledge and skills that students will need when they are employed. Training takes place in classrooms, simulation centers, and workplaces. The Government of New Zealand announced that starting April 1, 2020, all technology and polytechnics institutes will be merged into one educational organization for better management and distribution of public funding.
Private Training Establishments. PTE provides training in fairly narrow areas, such as tourism, hospitality management, and the hotel business. The teaching staff more often consists of working professionals rather than academics. The main purpose of training is the quick employment of graduates. Most private colleges have government accreditation from NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority), which allows them to issue certificates and diplomas (level 1-6) recognized at the state level.
Adult and community education. ACE is a large number of different courses and training programs in all areas ranging from English and ending with IT. Universities, colleges, and polytechnics are involved in adult education.
Bachelor’s in New Zealand
Most undergraduate programs last three years, less often four. Bachelor with honours degree is awarded after another year of study, during which students are engaged in research work. In exceptional cases, for example, to graduate from a medical university, students will need 6 years.
The academic year begins in February and ends in November of the following year. The program consists of practical courses and lectures. A bachelor's degree gives a student the opportunity to enroll in a master's or continuing education programs.
Master’s — Graduate / Postgraduate in New Zealand
Students who want to receive more advanced knowledge and are interested in research activities in their field usually choose to enter the second stage of higher education.
In New Zealand, there are several types of master’s programs:
Traditional Master’s programs are a continuation of education after a Bachelor’s in a relevant field.
Change of direction Master’s degrees. Such programs are designed specifically for students who want to get an education in a previously unstudied area. Such courses can be used to change a specialty or choose a professional direction instead of an academic one (and vice versa).
Graduate entry professional qualifications. These programs allow students to deepen professional skills and knowledge or to obtain the qualifications required to work as a teacher or social worker.
Professional development qualifications are created, unlike the previous ones, for students who have prior work experience. During the training, students can acquire additional skills or secondary specializations to advance their careers.
A Master’s course takes an average of two years. The first year includes theoretical and practical classes, and the second is tied to research.
To enter the academic master's programs, you need to complete a bachelor's degree (the field of study may or may not matter). For a professional master's degree, work experience in the relevant field is usually required.
Doctoral studies — Postgraduate in New Zealand
PhD in New Zealand takes three to four years and allows you to get a doctoral degree. Before officially submitting documents to the doctoral program, students must contact their future supervisors to approve the research proposal. After this, an interview is scheduled, during which the student has the opportunity to discuss his work with the academic council of the university.
During the training, students are engaged in research activities in order to write a thesis. At the end of the program, students defend their works in front of the examination board and pass an oral exam assessing the knowledge acquired during the course of study.
The academic ranking system in New Zealand consists of five levels:
Level A — Tutor / Associate Lecturer / Research Associate. This is the first position that new academics get. In some universities, it is possible to take a teaching position without a doctorate, but with extensive knowledge and significant work experience. The average salary at this level is 3,801 USD/month.
Level B — Lecturer / Research Fellow. Level B is considered the first serious academic work. The post of lecturer and scientific employee can be occupied only by students with a corresponding postgraduate degree. The average salary is 5,701 USD/month.
Level C — Senior Lecturer / Senior Research Fellow. Academicians usually occupy these positions after 4-6 years of working at level B. The senior lecturer combines teaching with research activities, and the senior researcher is engaged exclusively in scientific work. The average salary is 6,651 USD/month.
Level D — Associate Professor / Reader. The position of Associate Professor in New Zealand is equivalent to the position of professor in Asia and North America. At this level, international recognition is considered the most important: academics should participate in scientific conferences, collaborate with researchers from other countries, and also publish papers in large international journals. Reader is an honorary position created to highlight researchers with a particularly distinguished history of scientific work. The average salary is 8,868 USD/month.
Level E — Professor. The title of professor is awarded only to outstanding academicians who have demonstrated leadership qualities and competence in the field of teaching and research. In order to occupy this position, the candidate must meet the requirements established by the university. Three parameters are usually evaluated: recognition, outstanding achievement, and work experience as a supervisor. The average salary is 10,768 USD/month.
Working while studying in New Zealand
New Zealand’s law allows student visa holders to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) during their studies and full-time (up to 40 hours a week) during their summer and winter breaksOnly during the summer break, If the study program has less then 120 credits. Master's by research and doctoral students have the right to work without restrictions.
The minimum rate set by the state is 17.44 USD/hour, although the actual salary is usually higher than the minimum. It is also worth considering that in New Zealand the tax of 10.5% is introduced for wages less than 8,868 USD.
Some universities have their own employment centers and help students find jobs.
Before applying for a job, students must obtain a work permit and an IRD numberNew Zealand’s tax department, Inland Revenue. You can apply for it online.
The most common types of part-time jobs for international students in New Zealand are a sales consultant, seasonal worker (eg, gardener), supermarket assistant, waiter, kitchen assistant, bartender, call center employee.
After graduating, one can legally remain in the country in order to search for employment. To do this, first of all, it is necessary to apply for a Post-study work visa, which is issued for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the level of education and place of study. The minimum requirement is level 4 qualifications. The NZQA duration of the program must be at least 30 weeks for level 7 and at least 60 weeks for levels 4-6).
It is important to apply at least 3 months prior6 months for doctoral to the visa expiration date. The applicant must have at least 2,660 USD of funds. Registration fee — 314 USD. The review period is about 50 days.
A post-study work visa can only be renewed if a new qualification of a higher level is obtained in an educational institution of New Zealand. Another way is to obtain a residence permit and citizenship. It is worth noting that the chances of employment and immigration are higher if the profession is on the skill shortage list.
According to statistics, only 36% of foreign students remain in New Zealand 10 years after graduation. Having received qualifications, most go to seek work in other countries. One of the reasons, perhaps, is that foreigners in New Zealand receive on average 6,334 USD/year less than local students with the same qualifications (excluding medicine).
Master’s graduates have the highest rate of employment (67%) during the first year after graduation. Then come the owners of PhD or other postgraduate qualifications — 44%, specialists with diplomas or certificates of 5-7 levels — 41%, and bachelor’s degree holders — only 32%. Graduates of professional institutions with level 1-4 certificates in 95% of cases continue to study. The statistics given can be somewhat underestimated, since it does not take into account those who combine work and study, as well as some other categories.
Five years after the end of the program, the average salary of foreign graduates with a PhD degree is a record 48,647 USD/year. For qualifications of the remaining levels, the earnings vary from 21,093 USD/year (levels 1-4) to 35,155 USD/year for postgraduate. However, it is worth considering that these are only average wages. The specific figures are largely dependent on the specialty. Medical specialists (qualifications of 5-7 levels) have the highest salaries that are up to 47,506 USD/year, other specialties on average can count on a salary of about 22,170 USD/year. The least paid specialties are in creative fields.
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