New Zealand qualifications are recognised and respected around the world. Our education system is based on the British system. You are usually assessed based on your work throughout the year and your performance in end of term exams.
For more information about NCEA, visit the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.
NCEA courses are credit-based. Some standards are assessed by external exams while others are based on your work throughout the year.
New Zealand universities offer courses from certificate to doctorate level. Polytechnics offer courses from certificate level, with some offering full degree and postgraduate studies. Private training establishments usually offer certificate and diploma qualifications, usually in practical subjects like hospitality and hotel management.
A bachelor degree usually takes 3 to 4 years. After that, you can take post-graduate qualifications such as a Graduate Diploma, Master Degree or Doctorate. A master's degree requires more demanding and intensive study and includes supervised research.
University and polytechnic degree courses have equal merit.
The two main types of assessment are exams and class work. Sometimes your overall mark will be a combination of the two.
The student learning centre at your institution will run workshops about exam techniques and dealing with stress.
If you're having difficulty with an assignment, discuss it with your tutor or get help from the student learning centre. Seeking help is a normal part of student life.
Some university courses involve relatively few hours per week of formal lessons. A high degree of self-motivation and self-discipline is needed as you will be expected to do a lot of reading so you can participate in class discussions.
In all levels you’re expected to have original thoughts and to be able to defend them in debate. This is how we show respect for our teachers - by participating fully in the academic process. In some cultures it isn’t appropriate to challenge teachers, but it's an important part of the New Zealand education system.