13 Top Universities In New Zealand In 2021

New Zealand is a member of the Commonwealth, and its lasting ties with the United Kingdom are evidenced by English as the first language of the nation, and the standard language for its universities. New Zealand has one of the highest top-ranked universities that take their rightful place next to some of the biggest international university names out there.

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. The educational system in New Zealand has also been very highly rated by people. They have great alumni and graduates have a knack for securing really good jibs after graduation.

This article highlights the top universities in New Zealand and why you should study in New Zealand.

Why School in New Zealand

Studying in New Zealand is an excellent choice. It is one of the safest places in the world and has developed an education system based on the successful UK model. The school’s fess in New Zealand are quite affordable and the quality of their education has been ranked quite high. The quality of education in New Zealand has also been confirmed by international tests, which reveal New Zealand students are in the top 10 in terms of academic success worldwide.

In New Zealand, the citizens are very lively and you would have the opportunity to try all kinds of fun and exciting outdoor activities, including hiking, scuba diving, ice climbing, canoeing and even hanging out with friends.

In New Zealand, all the tutors are very interested in the betterment of the students and finding a pathway providing continuous learning progression and choice so that students’ progress every year, and their learning at one level sets the foundation for the next steps along a chosen pathway.

Overall, schools in New Zealand have a great reputation, and all of New Zealand’s higher education institutions are ranked as some of the best in the world. When it comes to higher education, however, public universities are high-performing, all ranking in the top 500 universities in the world

Are Universities in New Zealand Good?

Universities in New Zealand have the best medical schools, engineering schools, and law schools and are highly respected and well-known in the education and academic communities. They are known to offer prestigious Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programs for interested students.

In New Zealand, The University of Auckland which ranks highest as the top university in New Zealand is also ranked 81st in the world. They have been popularly being regarded as good schools through the ratings.

In New Zealand, all the tutors are very interested in the betterment of the students and finding a pathway providing continuous learning progression and choice so that students’ progress every year, and their learning at one level sets the foundation for the next steps along a chosen pathway.

How much is Fees in New Zealand?

The amount of fees you would be required to pay depends on whether you are a domestic or international student. It also depends on which of the universities you are planning to go to.

University education in New Zealand is quite affordable. University tuition fees for bachelor’s degrees in New Zealand range from 22,000 to 32,000 NZD which is approximately 14,660–21,330 USD for international students. The highest fees are usually for degrees in medicine and veterinary.

Postgraduate degrees for international students range from 26,000 to 37,000 NZD which is approximately 17,330–24,660 USD. A doctorate cost the same for international and domestic students, which is around 6,500 to 9,000 NZD which is almost 4,330–6,000 USD.

What is the Schooling System in New Zealand like?

You can expect to find good quality education in New Zealand. Schooling in New Zealand is mandatory between the ages of 6 and 16. However, your child may start school as soon as they turn 5. New Zealand’s school years are designated by Year 1 all the way to Year 13. Some school levels may overlap when it comes to school years and ages, depending on the region of New Zealand. Generally, primary school goes from 5 to 12 years of age, and secondary school between 13 and 17. From 17, anyone can start a university education.

13 Top Universities in New Zealand

The top 13 Universities in New Zealand are-

The University of Auckland

University of Otago

Victoria University of Wellington

University of Canterbury

Massey University

University of Waikato

Lincoln University

Auckland University of Technology

Eastern Institute of Technology

Manukau Institute of Technology

Wellington Institute of Technology

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Auckland Institute of Studies

Southern Institute of Technology

1. The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is one of the highest-ranked universities based in Auckland, New Zealand. It is the largest, most comprehensive and highest-ranked university in New Zealand and consistently places among the Top 100 universities in the world.

The University of Auckland has been ranked number one in 2021, coming 81st in the world this year and earning its best score for the academic reputation indicator. This university boasts 42,759 students and appears in the worldwide top 50 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 for 13 subjects including archaeology, education, nursing, geography and performing arts.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/university-auckland

2. University of Otago

The University of Otago is another high ranking university. It is a public university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs.

Research has shown that this university ranked 184th in the world in 2021 and continues to rank second in the country and earns the highest score in New Zealand for its percentage of international faculty members (31st in the world). Today it boasts of at least 21,240students, including 2,972 from outside New Zealand. It is one of the top universities in New Zealand in 2021.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/university-otago

3. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington consistently ranks among the world’s best universities. Very recently, in 2021/2022, this university was ranked 236 in the QS World University Rankings and is one of only 13 universities in the world to hold the maximum 5 Stars Plus in the QS Stars rating of excellence and five stars in each of eight categories of arts and culture, discipline ranking and accreditations, employability, facilities, inclusiveness, internationalization, research, and teaching.

Victoria University of Wellington has been ranked as the third top university in the country, ranking joint 223rd in the world, earning its best score for the percentage of international faculty member’s indicator (76th in the world). It also places 20th in the world for library studies and 50th for hospitality and leisure management, according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject. It is the third top high ranking university in New Zealand.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/victoria-university-wellington

4. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury in New Zealand was founded in the year 1873 and is the second university in Aotearoa New Zealand. This university is widely known as the first college to become a constituent of the University of New Zealand. The university maintains a notable alumni list, which includes renowned authors, artists, academics and politicians. One of the noble laureates of the University of Canterbury was Ernest Rutherford, the physicist who discovered the atomic structure and is known as the Father of Nuclear Physics.

It’s one of the oldest universities in New Zealand. Its student population now stands at roughly 17,300. As of 2021, the University of Canterbury is one of the top universities in New Zealand

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/university-canterbury

5. Massey University

Massey University is distinctive amongst New Zealand universities because of its ability to deliver research-led teaching and research training on three campuses in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington. This distinctiveness makes it sound out positively amongst the other universities in New Zealand.

Massey has strong links with industry and commerce contributing to economic development as exemplified by our teaching and research in applied areas such as veterinary medicine, food technology, information sciences, engineering technology, agriculture, finance, marketing and accountancy. Massey has a warm, friendly place to study and an intellectual climate that students love, in which they are encouraged to excel. The Massey philosophy is to help students prepare for career challenges today, with programs that are relevant, innovative and flexible.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/massey-university

6. University of Waikato

The University of Waikato embraces its strong Māori identity and heritage and these make it stand out. It is located in the homeland of the Waikato people and the Kīngitanga and reaches out to the many iwis (tribes) of the North Island.

The University of Waikato drops over 100 places this year in the world university rankings to place joint 375th globally. Primarily located on a 64-hectare campus full of green spaces in the city of Hamilton on the North Island, it also has a campus in Tauranga.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/university-waikato

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University is ranked quite high in New Zealand. They offer programs that ensure individual growth through the attainment of scholarships schemes, skills acquisition and personality development, acquisition of skills, and development of personality. 

They rank 387th in the world in the 2021 research. Lincoln University was originally part of the University of Canterbury before formally separating to become an independent institution in 1990. It receives a very high score for its percentage of international students and also places in the top 100 for agriculture and forestry according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/lincoln-university/

8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology is determined towards providing a world-class university environment. They are one of the world’s best modern universities as Times Higher Education has ranked them as the top millennial university in Australasia and number 15 in the world. The university has been in existence since 2000 and ranked among the top 1% (251-300) of universities in the world

The school boasts of the highest score among universities in New Zealand for the percentage of international student’s indicator (23rd in the world).

Visit their website here https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/auckland-university-technology

9. Eastern Institute of Technology

The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is a government-owned tertiary education institution with three campuses: Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, and Gisborne, New Zealand. It is also referred to as EIT Hawke’s Bay, EIT Tairāwhiti, and EIT Auckland. EIT serves as the main regional higher education centre for the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions. This institute of technology is one of New Zealand’s top-rated institutes of technology which offers programs ranging from certificate through to post-graduate level.

The staff at this university are bent on ensuring that students are highly experienced and qualified staff to provide individualized attention, to guide students to achieve academic success.

The school is one of New Zealand’s top-rated institutes of technology offering programs ranging from certificate through to post-graduate level. The staff have ensured that these programs have enough practical focus and a strong academic theory. Students who graduate from EIT always have the industry experience to help them achieve.

Visit their website here https://www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/how-to-apply/

10. Manukau Institute of Technology

Manukau Institute of Technology, MIT, is a government tertiary institution, is located 15 kilometres south of the heart of Auckland City in the City of Manukau.

MIT has also been ranked quite high. In 2016, it was awarded the highest possible rating, Category One, by NZQA. MIT is set up to support students who do not have English as their first language. Programs like general English, IELTS testing and Foundation programs are offered. MIT also offers a wide range of academic programs to choose from.

Visit their website here https://www.manukau.ac.nz/international-students

11. Wellington Institute of Technology

Wellington institute of technology ensures that in studying there, you would have better access to education and a clear pathway to career success. Wellington Institute of Technology is one of the most popular leading providers of quality tertiary education and training programs. Most students who attend WIT would have the skills they need to pursue rewarding careers in industry and commerce.

In WITec, you can get and have access to certificates, diplomas, degrees and graduate diplomas which are NZQA-accredited.

Visit their website here https://www.weltec.ac.nz/international/

12. Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is a public institution that is considered the national provider of open and distance learning education. The most beautiful thing about this school is that students can study online, virtually. The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand advisory group provides it with a student’s point of view to develop new ideas. In this way, students’ needs are always taken care of and everyone is satisfied.

Being a distance learning education institution, the institute offers to learn through online resources. It caters for education at a national level to more than 40,000 students every year. There is no need to go to school every day because you can basically access online textbooks via email. The institute offers undergraduate programs, certificate programs and diploma level programs, all virtual.

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand academic curriculum includes a wide range of subjects like social work, business, trades & engineering, horticulture & agriculture, art & design, communication studies, mathematics, psychology, pharmacy, environmental studies, humanities, social sciences, computing & information technology, law & legal, and library & information studies, amongst others. It is one of the high ranking and top universities in New Zealand.

Visit their website here-https://www.open polytechnic.ac.nz/study-with-us/distance-learning-with-us/international-students/

13. Auckland Institute of Studies

Auckland Institute of Studies was established in 1990 and has proven to be one of New Zealand’s largest independent degree-granting institutions. In Auckland Institute of Studies, there exists a very friendly and nurturing environment that balances and supports the rigorous academic programs.

The staff are out for the betterment of your studies and as such, you will experience expert personalized education in small classes. Whether from New Zealand or overseas, you will receive everything you need to feel comfortable and confident while studying at AIS – ensuring that you are well-equipped to succeed once you complete your qualification.

Since its inception, AIS has attracted students and staff from all over the world and has now developed several close relationships with leading educational institutions internationally.

Visit their website here: https://www.ais.ac.nz/

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Universities in New Zealand hard to get into?

If you meet the requirements needed for each university, you should not have a hard time getting admitted.

Can I study online in Universities in New Zealand?

Yes. Some Universities have the option for virtual learning.

Do Universities in New Zealand have good teachers

Yes. Universities in New Zealand has a reputation of really brilliant teachers

Is there a screening exam before getting into Universities in New Zealand?

If you meet the requirements needed for each university, you should not have a hard time getting admitted.

Is there a screening exam before getting into Universities in New Zealand?

Ensure you find out the requirements peculiar to the university you are about to apply to.

Is it safe to study in New Zealand?

New Zealand has been ranked as one of the safest places in the world to be. Studying here should not be any different.


New Zealand has a positive vibe to study. You need a positive energy to start your university education. You are in charge of your own life. These top universities in New Zealand are the absolute best. If you are thinking of studying in New Zealand, you should check them out.



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