Education System

The education system in New Zealand is a three-tier model which includes primary schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and/or polytechs. The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from late January until mid-December for primary schools, secondary schools, and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.

Qualification Types

All quality assured qualifications listed on the NZQF fit into a qualification type: a certificate, diploma or degree. Each qualification type is defined by an agreed set of criteria which includes the level at which the qualification is listed and the number of credits required at each level. Below is a list of qualification types with linked definitions.

All qualifications on the NZQF are listed in accordance with an agreed set of definitions. To see the definition click on the qualification type:

• Certificate

• Diploma

• Bachelor’s Degree

• Graduate Certificate

• Graduate Diploma

• Bachelor Honours Degree

• Postgraduate Certificate

• Postgraduate Diploma

• Master’s Degree

• Doctoral Degrees

Levels of Qualifications

The NZQF has ten levels. Levels are based on complexity, with level 1 the least complex and level 10 the most complex. All qualifications on the NZQF are assigned one of the ten levels. It is possible for qualifications to include credit achieved at levels above and below the overall level at which the qualification is listed.

Caring of International Students: Code of Practice for Pastoral Care

When students come to study in New Zealand, education providers have an important responsibility to ensure that those students are well informed, safe and properly cared for.

To support this, the New Zealand government has developed a Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code).

The Code is a document that provides a framework for service delivery by education providers and their agents to international students.

It sets out minimum standards of advice and care that can be expected and provides a procedure that the students can follow if they have concerns about the treatment they receive from their education provider or agent of a provider.