A Guide to New Zealand Education

New Zealand education system has always enjoyed a high reputation internationally and is known as one of the “best education systems in the world”. New Zealand’s education and British education are in the same line. Both in terms of teaching methods and teachers, they are widely praised in the industry. Moreover, its academic qualifications can be recognized and respected all over the world, and it can realize free transfer in English-speaking countries. With such a competitive education system, it is no wonder that immigrants to New Zealand have been so popular among parents in recent years. In order to help everyone better understand New Zealand education, today we will briefly talk about its education system.

1. Pre-school education (0-4 years old)

Pre-school education in New Zealand is mainly for children aged 0-4. The institutions of pre-school education mainly include kindergartens, nurseries, game centers and Maori kindergartens. These institutions mainly provide some informal education. They do not blindly let children learn knowledge, but pay more attention to helping children perceive the world and know themselves so as to prepare for formal education in the future. Preschool education facilities are also divided into public and private facilities. Private teaching resources are better, but the tuition is more expensive. Public kindergartens generally accept children over 3 years old and teach them early language education.

2. Primary education (5-10 years old, grade 1-6)

New Zealand law stipulates that any child between 5 and 16 years old must go to school to study. There are 13 grades from primary school to secondary school, generally divided into 6 years for primary school, 2 years for junior high school, and 5 years for high school. Public schools implement completely free education. In New Zealand, students go to the nearest school according to their residential address. Primary schools provide education for children who are entering the school for the first time. The focus of learning includes the cultivation of listening, speaking, reading, writing, mathematics, and social skills, learning from what you see and doing, and learning how to ask questions and explore knowledge.

Primary education belongs to the stage of compulsory education. New Zealand law expressly stipulates that any child aged 5-16 must go to school to receive compulsory education. New Zealand’s primary schooling system is 6 years, public schools implement completely free education, and students mainly come from nearby neighborhoods. Primary education has begun to focus on the transmission of knowledge, and the focus of learning includes the cultivation of listening, speaking, reading, writing, mathematics, and social skills. Primary education in New Zealand is more inclined to let children discover problems on their own, and then take the initiative to explore.

3. Secondary education (11-17 years old, 7-13 grades)

Secondary school in New Zealand starts at about 11 years old and lasts for 7 years, including 2 years in junior high school and 5 years in high school, that is, from 7th to 13th grade. There are about 400 high schools in New Zealand, with different names, including college, high school, secondary college and grammar school. Although the statements are different, they basically accept students in grades 9-13. The vast majority of secondary schools in New Zealand are public secondary schools, and only a small part are private secondary schools. The teaching quality of public secondary schools is quite high, no less than private schools, so more than 80% of parents in New Zealand choose to send their children to public schools. In addition, New Zealand does not have the so-called unified national university entrance examination, but it is necessary to obtain the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) in high school. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national diploma for secondary school students in New Zealand from grades 11 to 13. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement Level 1 is obtained in the 11th grade, the 2nd level is obtained in the 12th grade, and the 3rd (and 4th) level is obtained in the 13th grade. The certificate course adopts a scoring system, and the score depends on the student’s academic performance throughout the year and the final exam results.

4. Higher education (over 16 years old)

Higher education in New Zealand consists of three parts: universities, polytechnics, and education colleges. Universities and polytechnics are funded by the government and managed independently. In recent years, New Zealand has also established a number of private education institutions to provide students with a wealth of courses, including degree courses. Universities are generally funded by government grants, provide undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, and award bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. There are 8 public universities in New Zealand, and all of them are among the top 100 in the world in the QS university rankings.

That’s all for the New Zealand education. Under this education system, all children have the opportunity to receive compulsory education. After completing compulsory education, students can choose to enter the workplace or continue their studies. Everyone can find their areas of expertise and use their expertise.


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