Tertiary study and training providers
New Zealand has no shortage of tertiary education and training providers.
The country has 8 universities offering a huge range of academic courses and qualifications, 18 Institutes of Technology or Polytechnics which offer more vocational or work-related study courses, plus another 500+ education providers on top, all with specific fields of study or training.
These tertiary providers vary by the types of qualifications offered, how much they will cost, their focus of the study or training – academic vs more practical training and their range of options for study (such as part-time study, or distance learning)
If you are thinking about tertiary study or training, take the time to look at what these providers can offer and make sure this can work best for you. They are all in the business of helping you into work or a career, and all get paid serious money to do this.
- University courses have an academic and research focus and concentrate on theoretical rather than hands-on learning. Some can also have a more specific focus (like Lincoln does with agricultural production).
- Universities today are businesses as well as teaching institutions. Courses are charged for and students can reasonably expect all the teaching and support that is needed to help them pass these courses.
- The most common university programme is the degree. Degrees can be general, such as a Bachelor of Arts, or focused on a specific vocation, such as the Bachelor of Dentistry. A general degree is a good option if believe you are interested in a certain area, but don't have a specific job or favourite subject area that you are aiming for. As you work through your degree you can try out a range of subjects, decide what you like or seem best at, and choose that subject area to specialise or major in.
- A university degree is not necessarily a fast ticket to great fortune, but it can be a great start. Achieving a degree tells a prospective employer that you are reasonably clever, are dedicated enough to study for three or four years and that you are capable of learning. That’s one of the big things every employer wants - you to learn and add to their business.
General or specific degrees?
The most common university programme is the degree. Degrees can be general, such as a Bachelor of Arts, or focused on a specific vocation, such as the Bachelor of Dentistry.
- A general degree is a good option if believe you are interested in a certain area, but don't have a specific job or favourite subject area that you are aiming for. As you work through your degree you can try out a range of subjects, decide what you like or seem best at, and choose that subject area to specialise or major in. General degrees give you a wide range of skills in research, information gathering and problem solving.
- Degrees in specific subjects should provide these same skills, and may also lead to work in a specific job or industry.
- Polytechnics or Institutes of Technology offer courses with a practical focus, teaching skills and knowledge that are important to industry and businesses who end up as your potential employer.
- Courses can range in length from one day to four years, and generally try to connect you as a student with the industry or field you are studying.
- Some actively promote and conduct applied and technological research based around industry needs.
- There are 18 of these around the country, and usually provide only limited accommodation options in comparison to universities.
- Wānanga (Māori tertiary institutions) are open to all New Zealanders. Courses have a practical focus and students learn within a supportive Māori kaupapa (foundation) and a strong tikanga (culture, protocol) Māori environment.
- There are a big number of other Māori education and training providers offering specific or locally based courses so if this is what you are looking for, make sure you check out as many of these as you need to.
- New Zealand has a huge number (over 500) of Private Training Establishments (PTEs) that offer a wide range of NZQA-accredited tertiary courses and qualifications, usually in specialist fields.
- Some PTEs offer courses with no fees, but you would need to check this with the individual provider.
- Many are focused on the international student market, usually indicated by the emphasis on English teaching through their courses