Study and find schools in New Zealand

New Zealand is a large island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, with a total land area of over 103,000 square miles.  The country consists of two large landmasses, often referred to as North and South New Zealand, and numerous smaller islands.  New Zealand is located about 900 miles east of Australia, separated from that country by the Tasman Sea, and about 600 miles south of the Pacific island nations of Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia.  New Zealand is a rugged land, and because of its remoteness, the country, which claimed its independence from Great Britain in 1853, was one of the last regions in the world to be inhabited by humans.  The capital and largest city in New Zealand is Auckland, which is also the government seat.
New Zealand has a population of roughly 4.4 million, most of whom (72 percent) live in the country’s 16 main urban regions.  Of those, 53 percent live in the four largest cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton—cities that consistently rank high on international livability polls.  Nearly 68 percent of the population self-identifies as European, and another 14 percent is of Maori origin.  Other ethnic groups residing in the country include Asians (9 %), Pacific Islanders (7%) and those that merely identify as New Zealanders (11%).
English is the official and most widely spoken language in the country, spoken by an estimated 98 percent of the population.  It is also used for all official government business, commerce and education.  New Zealand English has a distinctive accent that is very similar to the English spoken in Australia.  Most New Zealanders, or roughly 60 percent, are Christian, and another 34 percent of the population claims no religious affiliation whatsoever.  Minority religions include Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism.
Education in New Zealand
The education system in New Zealand is overseen by the national government and administered at the municipal level.  Schooling is compulsory for ten years for children between the ages of 6 and 16, and school is provided free for 13 years, including one pre-primary year called kindergarten.  The education system is divided between primary education, secondary education and tertiary or higher education.
Primary education in New Zealand begins at age six and spans eight years, representing grades one through eight.  Children are provided instruction in reading, writing and basic arithmetic initially, subjects that are later supplemented by a broad curriculum including courses in science, social and cultural studies, English, history, geography, the arts and sport.  Students receive a promotion certificate following the successful completion of the 8th grade, which qualifies them to enroll in one of the country’s secondary schools.
The first two years of secondary education are, for the most part, an extension of primary school, with advanced instruction in many of the same subjects listed above.  These grades (9th and 10th) are the only two compulsory years of secondary schooling, although most students do proceed to the final two years of secondary school (11th and 12th grades), where they can choose to enroll in either an academic program that prepares them for university enrollment, or a vocational program, through which they can learn a trade.
Higher or tertiary education in New Zealand is provided by five types of public or government owned institutions:  universities, colleges of education (teacher training colleges), polytechnics, specialist colleges and wānanga, a type of institution that provides higher education in a Maori cultural context.
The adult literacy rate in New Zealand is 99 percent, a testament to their excellent education system, and nearly 15 percent of the population holds a bachelor degree or higher.

Language Courses in New Zealand

English is the largest spoken language in New Zealand, and it is spoken by 98 percent of the population. New Zealand English is similar to Australian English, and several speakers from the Northern Hemisphere might experience difficulties in identifying the unique words and slangs. After the Second World War, The Māori people were discouraged from using their own language (te reo Māori) in institutes and workplaces, and it remained as a communal language only in a few isolated areas. It has recently undergone a process of revival, being acknowledged as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987, and now spoken by 4.1 percent of the population. There are currently a handful of Māori language immersion schools and two Māori Television channels, the only national television channels to have their prime-time content delivered in Māori. Numerous places have formally been given dual Maori and English designations in recent years. Samoan is also one of the most extensively spoken tongues in New Zealand (2.3 percent), trailed by French, Hindi, Yue and Northern Chinese. New Zealand Sign Language is used by around 28,000 people and was made New Zealand's second authorized language in 2006.

Before the 1800s, Maori was the only language spoken in the course of the North Island and South Island of New Zealand. However, another distinct, yet strictly associated language, Moriori, which was prevalent in the Chatham Islands to the east of New Zealand [however the Chatham Islands are now governmentally part of New Zealand]. Moriori is now non-existent and has not had any native speakers since the 1930s (though the language has been logged judiciously in written form).
For non native English speakers too, English immersion in New Zealand is a brilliant way to continue studies, while also polishing one’s English skills. Language immersion is an excellent way to learn any language. Immersion courses are usually classes wherein the student opts for a particular course and the instructions of that course is given in the language the student wants to learn. It involves integration into one’s surroundings and not feeling alienated in a new country. Learning English or Maori in New Zealand through immersion courses is a great idea for those planning on staying long term in the country.
Basic conversational construction in New Zealand English is slightly different from English spoken elsewhere, but not too difficult to learn. Learning Maori in New Zealand is not too hard either, though, as with all languages, there are features of construction of the language which necessitate some exertion before one gets comfortable. However, Maori does not have the linguistic difficulty that we find in some of the tongues further afield in the Pacific, to which it is connected.
Joining classes is the best way to learn English or Maori in New Zealand, and they will give the support you require for learning the language. Most people are very well versed in English, and hope to learn Maori. Joining classes is a good idea, as the people around you will be at the same proficiency level as you are. There are language courses ranging from day to day conversations in English or Maori to Diploma courses from universities in the language. Another option can be reading newspapers and sign boards and notices in the language and write down the words that you find difficult.

Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in New Zealand

Vocational education has gained much prominence in recent times due to the constantly changing work environment and education dynamics. Career colleges and vocational schools in New Zealand are specially designed for those who do not want to undertake the traditional higher education option, and instead prefer to get trained in a specialized profession for becoming an industry ready professional.

New Zealand not only has some of the finest career colleges in the world, it is also a popular study destination among students from across the world. Career schools in New Zealand are also known as Trade Schools and are aligned with New Zealand’s National Education Goals or the NEG’s (1) & (3). 

Career education in New Zealand is popularly known as Technical & Vocational Education or TVET and begins at the upper secondary school level itself, with schools forging tie-ups with the tertiary or the higher education providers. In fact, the principal and staff at the secondary school level are instructed by The National Administration Guidelines, to identify such students at level 7, who are at risk of leaving school unprepared for further education/training and hence should be provided with appropriate career education and guidance.

A credit based qualification system, registered with National Qualifications Framework (NQF), for a range of qualifications, further facilitates this process by allowing students to pursue additional vocational courses in New Zealand along with the regular school curriculum. The students also get exposed to valuable work related learning through such courses
TVET at the tertiary level is provided through institutions like Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), Private Training Establishments and Industry Training Organizations.  Such vocational schools in New Zealand provide students an opportunity to pursue courses as varying as hospitality, beauty profession to teaching. Moreover, certain vocational programs are also available in government training institutions and various universities.

New Zealand has 39 ITOs, 20 ITPs and several PTEs imparting quality career education by imbibing the dual teaching method of theory based learning along with the practical on-the-job training routine at a place of apprenticeship.

Industry Training Organizations

ITOs are state funded and help in developing and maintaining the national standard of skills and qualifications for different sectors through on-job training.  They also form pacts with training providers to offer off-job training and courses.
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics

ITPs offer career education in New Zealand as well as training in a variety of subjects like English language training, and introductory courses to full degree programs. A degree from one of the ITP is equivalent to a university degree in New Zealand.

ITPs award nationally and internationally recognized qualifications for a wide range of community interest courses, foundation programs, certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate degrees.  All of these vocational courses are also available through flexible delivery modes such as part-time courses, weekend’s batches, evening classes and online learning.
The other unique features of ITPs include lengthy training hours in On-Job Training (OJT), research based learning and industry trained trainers.  
Private Training Establishments

PTE’s forte in vocational education in New Zealand lies primarily in specialized industries like travel and tourism, design or English language learning.

Primary and Secondary Schools in New Zealand

New Zealand has been successful in achieving an adult literacy rate of 99%, on account of the free education system in the nation’s public schools. In fact, the Program for International Student Assessment ranks New Zealand's education as the 7th best in the world.

New Zealand follows the classic 3-tier model of education, with primary education as the base, followed by secondary and the tertiary level. Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory, for children aged six to 16 years. However, in rare cases, students who are close to the age of 16 can get an exemption, based on their application to the Ministry of Education.

Moreover, students who live further than a walking distance of five kilometers from the nearest school (or any public transport to school) may be exempted from attending school compulsorily. Nonetheless, they are required to enroll in a correspondence school.  As a special provision for disabled students with special educational needs, the permissible age to complete mandatory education is extended to 21 years.

According to a recent Government of New Zealand proposal, termed as “School Plus”, and strongly supported by Prime Minister Helen Clark, the students will have to pursue some form of mandatory education until the age of 18. This policy is slated to come in to full effect by 2014, with some regulations having already been introduced in 2011.

Primary Education in New Zealand

Primary Schools in New Zealand cater to the age group of 5-12 years. However, there is an interesting nomenclature for different grades in primary education in New Zealand, based on the year level and the age of the student. In chronological order, these are- 1) The Contributing School, 2) The Junior Syndicate, 3) The Senior Syndicate, 4) The Intermediate School and 5) Full Primary School.

Parents can choose from three types of primary schools for their children. They are:
  • State Schools: They provide free, state funded education.
  • Integrated Schools: Here parents incur the learning related costs like attendance levy, event charges, uniform, etc.
  • Independent Schools:  These are expensive, and the fee here ranges from anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 a year per child, depending on the school.
As per the Ministry of Education’s directive to keep primary schools in New Zealand open for at least 394 ‘half days’ each year, the school year is divided into four terms with a 6-week summer holiday and three 2-week breaks placed between each of the four terms.

Secondary Education in New Zealand

Secondary education in New Zealand is for students in the age group 13 to 18 year old, and it spans up to five years.
Just like the primary education system, the secondary schools in New Zealand are also divided in to three types namely:
  • State Schools: Government funded schools
  • Private Schools: These schools are partially government funded (25%) and rely on tuition fees for additional costs.
  • State Integrated Schools: The former private schools, which have been integrated as state schools, under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975.
As per the data available with a support group of private schools called the Independent Schools New Zealand, about 86% of all school-aged children attend state schools, 10% attend state integrated schools and 4% attend private schools.

List of primary and secondary schools in New Zealand

Lynfield College

Mt Roskill, New Zealand
Lynfield College is a modern co-educational school, located in Auckland, New Zealand. The institution was established in 1958 and strives to offer advanced, broad-based education to its students. Lynfield College is especially proud of its flexible senior course structure, which enables students to multi-level their studies. The school has an excellent academic record in public examinations, whilst most students leave with NCEA Level 2 or 3 qualifications. Accommodating over 1900 day school students, the college strives to create an atmosphere of communication, mutual understanding and... See full description.

Cities to study in New Zealand

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