The Education system of New Zealand
New Zealand follows a three-tier model of education which includes Early childhood education followed by primary and secondary schools (high schools) and finally tertiary education at universities and polytechnics. Early childhood education is between the age of two to six which is desirable but not compulsory. However, 90% of people in New Zealand prefer to send their kids to Kindergarten.
Overall, schooling is compulsory between 6-16 years of age. In addition, the child's education is free between the ages of 5 and 19 at state schools (schools that are government-owned and funded) if they're a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.
The New Zealand school education system is made up of thirteen-year levels. Any child's primary education starts at Year 1 and goes to Year 8 (around 5-12 years of age) followed by secondary education which goes from Year 9 to Year 13 (around 13-17 years of age).
Post this, students can either give a supplementary scholarship exam which allows them to study in certain Polytechnics and Private Tertiary Institutes or can pursue a bachelor’s degree directly by applying to universities and colleges.
Tertiary Education and Vocational Training: Tertiary education mostly includes all education after secondary school, so it comprises both higher education and vocational training. Tertiary education encompasses a wide range of education options. Education providers are present in each of the main centers and many satellite campuses in smaller areas. There is also flexibility in terms of distance learning to meet adult learning needs.
New Zealand has 8 state-funded universities, 18 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), and about 550 Private Training Establishments (PTEs), which include English language schools
Universities are mostly known for offering higher degree-level education. The programs are research-led and generally academic rather than vocational. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings, seven of New Zealand’s universities were in the top 100 in at least one subject.
ITPs and a few larger PTEs offer vocational degree-level education. Vocational training in training programs for a particular trade or type of job and can be done while a student is working, often as part of an apprenticeship. Vocational training is also available at many secondary schools, alongside core academic subjects.
PTEs tend to offer specific vocational programs, mainly at certificate and diploma level.