New Zealand has a very sound and well-regulated education curriculum delivered in English. Students knowing little English will be given language support to ensure their success across the curriculum.
The Ministry of Education establishes the secondary curriculum with accountability to the Minister of Education. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) provides quality assurance for all secondary and tertiary qualifications and administers the National Qualifications Framework.
The national secondary school level qualification is called the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). It is a system of individual subject qualifications divided into three levels. Level one is usually attempted at Year 11 (the third year of secondary school when students are around 15 years old). Depending on their progress and ability, selected students can attempt any level in specific subjects, earlier or later than their peers.
In Year 13 (the fifth year of secondary school when students are around 17 years old), very able students can attempt scholarship examinations and pursue their NCEA subjects. Please visit the NZQA website to find out more information.
For international students, their proficiency in the English language will determine which subjects they can attempt from a wide range of academic and practical areas.
To ensure secondary schools offer high-quality educational programmes with the best outcome for every student, the Government has established an independent body called the Education Review Office (ERO) to assess schools’ performance.
All teachers of subjects have at least four years of tertiary education and are Government registered. Teachers have annual performance assessments and ongoing professional development. New Zealand trained teachers are well-respected throughout the world.
You can find more information about studying in New Zealand on the Immigration New Zealand website.