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Schooling in New Zealand

Our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options, in a positive environment.

Early childhood

There are a number of education and care options available to parents with children five years or younger.

They can either provide home-based care or enrol their child full-time or part-time in a kindergarten, child care centre (crèche) or play-centre.

While the enrolment costs vary, the standard and quality of the supervision doesn’t.

These early education centres provide a stimulating learning environment and are regularly audited by the Ministry of Education to ensure high standards are maintained.

Primary and secondary schools

With few exceptions, all children in New Zealand must attend school between the ages of 5 and 16. Government-funded (state) schools provide for the individual learning styles of children and for different philosophies of education.

Private schools are required to follow the New Zealand educational curriculum but may keep their own special character (usually based on a philosophical or religious belief) as part of their programme.

Most schools, even those in inner city areas, have their own playing fields, gymnasiums and swimming pools.

Tertiary education

New Zealand’s tertiary (higher) education system includes universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and private training establishments. Each of these institutions provides a high level of tertiary education and internationally recognised degrees and diplomas.

All universities receive around 70 percent of their funding from the government. The balance is charged to students by way of course and student association fees.

Source: New Zealand Immigration Service

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