New Zealand's education system has three levels - early childhood education, schooling and tertiary education. Students can follow a variety of flexible pathways. Education is compulsory for all students aged between 6 to 16 years. Majority of students begin education at the age of 5.

Early childhood education (ECE)

This is for children under five and is characterized by strong quality assurance and a world leading national curriculum. The participation in ECE is higher and levels of teacher quality are increasing.


Like ECE, school education is free in the state system. New Zealand has nearly 2,600 schools, most of which are publicly owned and funded by the government. They are self managing and governed by locally elected board of trustees, yet follow a national curriculum. School education provides a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy and an introduction to a broad and balance curriculum, while the secondary years (Age 13 - 17) offer excellent resourced with information and communications technology.

Tertiary Education

It is delivered by variety of education providers like Universities, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITPs), Private Training Establishments (PTEs) and Industry Training Organizations (ITOs). They all offer variety of educational options with flexibility. New Zealand’s tertiary education qualifications and programs are internationally recognized for their quality.