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New Zealand has a three tier education system, the three tiers are :

  • Primary and intermediate schools
  • Secondary schools (High schools)
  • Tertiary education (Universities and polytechnic Institutes)

The scope of this article will be restricted to tertiary education as that is the part which is most confusing for Indian students planning to study abroad. Tertiary institutes in New Zealand are relatively relaxed in admissions of foreign students in the tertiary level due to high demand for educated graduates needed by the rapidly growing service sector.

Tertiary education in New Zealand is used to describe all aspects of post-school education and training. This ranges from informal non-assessed community courses in schools through to undergraduate degrees and advanced, research-based postgraduate degrees. Tertiary education is regulated within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training.

New Zealand is known for its high quality and industry oriented tertiary education system which prepares students for the real world challenges they may face while working. In essence they are ready to face the global job and enterprise market once they graduate.

The 2 main different types of government owned tertiary education providers in New Zealand are:

  • Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics
  • Universities

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP)

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) offer general and vocational education. Their curriculum is based on industry oriented learning and practical knowledge in a working environment. In addition to a good amount of theoretical studies the courses offered by ITP’s usually involve completing real life projects in workplaces. This is a very effective form of education as students gain first hand experience about workplace challenges whether it is in the corporate world or in a full-blown industry.

Universities

Universities in New Zealand are characterised by a wide diversity of teaching and research, especially at a higher level, that maintains, advances, disseminates, and assists the application of knowledge and develops intellectual independence.

Quality Assurance System for Tertiary Education Providers in New Zealand

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has developed and operates an integrated quality assurance system which uses the Evaluative Quality Assurance Framework (EQAF) which:

  • covers the quality assurance of the non-university tertiary education sector
  • uses evaluation theory and practice to reach well-informed, consistent and reliable evidence-based judgements about all aspects of organisational performance and capability
  • has a practical focus on outcomes and key contributing processes
  • builds awareness and improvement through organisational self-assessment.

In short, New Zealand’s education system is very promising, robust and has been proven itself to be effective in churning out world class graduates from almost every single field.

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