Requirements to Study in New Zealand [Updated 2023]

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Study in New Zealand

What are the Requirements to Study in New Zealand?

What are the Requirements to Study in New Zealand?

17 January 2023 landmark
17 January 2023 landmark

New Zealand is among the most attractive and secure countries worldwide and provides the best educational institutes and universities that students can wish for. It is also one of the most affordable countries in the world to study in when compared to the United States and the UK. If you are an international student, you should consider studying in New Zealand to accelerate your academic career while being in a safe and beautiful country. Let us look at the requirements to study in New Zealand.

How are universities in New Zealand ranked worldwide?

Universities in New Zealand such as the University of Otago, Massey University, the University of Canterbury, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Auckland, are ranked highly in world rankings. 

What are the academic requirements to get admission to New Zealand?

If you are opting for postgraduate courses, it is vital to maintain good and competitive academic results and adequate funds to demonstrate that you can manage your educational expenses and your well-being in New Zealand.

It is also essential to deliver all the mandated documents as well as a valid visa for your education.

If you are opting for undergraduate courses, qualifications that are equivalent to New Zealand year 13 or NCEA Level 3 are considered the basic academic requirement in the country.

You need to secure at least a band score of 5.5 in IELTS to be an attractive candidate for undergrad in New Zealand. For specialized courses such as the MBA, New Zealand requires GMAT or GME scores. 

What are the language tests requirements for international students in New Zealand?

Standardized language tests are compulsory for international students looking for admission to universities and courses located in New Zealand. PTE, TOEFL, and the IELTS, TOEFL are the most prevalent English language proficiency tests that are used in New Zealand. 

For various standardized tests, here are the requirements to study in New Zealand:

  • IELTS: IELTS scores are also required for various migration levels in New Zealand, and it is the most widely used language eligibility test.

Both graduate and undergraduate courses in universities located in New Zealand require at least an IELTS band score of 6.5. You should ideally check the individual requirements of the college of your choice. However, overall speaking, writing, and reading scores need to be a minimum of 6.0 in reputed colleges. 

  • TOEFL: The TOEFL test has a stellar reputation when it comes to standardized language tests.

In New Zealand, most universities maintain a threshold score for admissions on the basis of the program levels that you are applying for.

For level 3, you need a minimum score of 35 and a writing score of 14, for levels 4 and 5, you require a TOEFL score of 46 and a writing score of 14, for levels 6 and 7, you need a score of 60 along with a writing score of 18. And for levels 8-10, you will have to get a writing score of 21 and a 79.

You should ideally check the level of your program and its specific TOEFL requirement, as it may change based on the university that you choose to apply to. 

  • PTE: PTE is a recent test that is accepted in colleges located in New Zealand. Applicants need to maintain a minimum score of 50 to get into undergraduate programs, as well as a minimum score of 64 for graduate courses. 

What is the application process for a visa to study in New Zealand?

International students need to secure a student visa to study in New Zealand. The application process is completely online. 

Here are the requirements for obtaining a student visa to study in New Zealand:

  • A record of good academic scores in your previous courses
  • Admission letters obtained from academic institutes
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Health insurance
  • Medical examination certificate

The fees to apply for a student visa for New Zealand depend on your country of residence, the courses, and the universities that you are planning to join. Once you have applied for your student visa, it takes anywhere from three to six weeks to process your visa. 

The Pathway Student Visa Pilot Program

Recently, the New Zealand government has also introduced a Pathway Student Visa pilot program for international students. Via this program, an international student is eligible to participate in three successive academic courses on just one visa.

This program also allows international students to be more attractive candidates when they enter the job market. 


Every year around 30000 international students choose to study in New Zealand. Academic institutes in New Zealand are highly rated in various world rankings, and the courses that are offered in these universities are recognized by NZQF and NZQA.

This offers international students a chance to apply for jobs globally since their educational qualifications are recognized worldwide.

International students can also obtain a scholarship, either on the university level or at the government level, easily on the basis of merit.

The country also offers permanent residency for international students once they enter the job market and prove themselves to be skilled professionals.

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