Top Universities in New Zealand

6 minute read
Universities in New Zealand

Being one of the first countries to give women the right to vote, New Zealand has consistently emerged as a progressive nation that is deeply rooted in its ancient Māori culture which was established by Polynesians who discovered this island around 700 years ago. It is also among the world’s least populated countries with a population of just 4.78 million in 2019. As popular study destinations such as the US and the UK are also equally expensive ones for those aspiring to study abroad, New Zealand is one of those countries that can calm your quest of attaining quality education at affordable costs. The country is home to numerous higher-learning institutions that provide globally acclaimed programs in almost every field of study. Through this blog, we will take a look at some of the top universities in New Zealand along with listing down the varied courses they are known for.

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Top Universities in New Zealand

Before delving deeper into the details of different universities in New Zealand, take a look at the table below which delineates the academic institutions in the country and their renowned courses.

Universities in New Zealand Location  Popular Courses
Auckland University of
Auckland  MSc Research,
Master of Public Health,
Bachelor of Health Science,
Masters of Engineering,
MBA, Bachelor of Business Finance,
Masters of Global Business 
University of Canterbury Christchurch  Master in Civil and Natural Resources
Masters of Constructions,
Masters of Management,
Master in Aviation Management 
The University of Waikato Hamilton  MSc Technology,
Masters of Cyber Security,
BE Software Engineering,
Masters of Science,
Masters of Digital Business,
Bachelor of Communication Studies 
The University of Auckland Auckland BCom (Accounting),
Masters in Marketing,
MSc Computer Science,
BSc  Computer Science
The Victoria University of
Wellington BA Education,
MA Education,
Masters of  Tourist Management
Lincoln University Lincoln  Bachelor of Agriculture,
Masters of Tourist Management,
Bcom, BSc,
Masters of Landscape Architecture 
Massey University Palmerston  Masters of Analytics,
Bachelor of Aviation Management,
MA Economics, BSc Physics
University of Otago  Dunedin  MSc Computer Science,
MBA, Masters of Finance, MIB,
MBBS, Masters of Public Health  

Now that you know the varied popular academic institutions in the country and their offered programs, let’s elaborate on the pivotal features of these universities in New Zealand and what they have on offer for students across the globe.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

Established in the year 1895, the university was earlier known as Auckland Technical School. AUT is one of the prestigious universities in New Zealand which has transformed a plethora of students. The Auckland University of Technology is one of the prestigious universities in New Zealand and provides a plethora of bachelor’s, master’s and diploma courses spread across varied fields of study such as Business, Design, Culture Studies, Environmental and Health Science and Law. Moreover, AUT has a total of 15 schools which also includes a specialised faculty for Maori and Indigenous Development formed to impart to students with knowledge of the country’s ancient heritage and history.

Massey University

Founded in 1927, Massey University is spread across three campuses in Manawatu, Albany and Wellington. Along with providing a multitude of programs in different fields, the institution has also created specialised programs in Dispute Resolution, Nanoscience, Veterinary, Medicine and Aviation. It is amongst the top science universities in New Zealand and also hosts the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence encourages tertiary educational organizations to implement effective methods of teaching and learning and provides the required funding mechanisms for the same.

University of Waikato

Located in Hamilton, the University of Waikato is home to more than 10 schools and 7 research institutions. It is renowned for its Management and Engineering degrees and in 2014, it became a smoke-free academic institution by banning smoking on campus along with driving vehicles. Moreover, the university comprises seven faculties divided into different disciplines such as Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Maori and Indigenous Studies, amongst others.

The University of Auckland

Known as one of the largest universities in New Zealand, The University of Auckland has been ranked at 85th position in the QS World University Rankings 2019. It was founded in 1883 as a constituent college under the University of New Zealand and later dissolved into a separate entity in 1961. It offers an array of degree and diploma programs in Engineering, Computer Science, Public Health, Marketing, Accounting, Law, and Medical Science, amongst others and also features among the biggest research institutions in the country.

University of Otago

One of the oldest universities in New Zealand, the University of Otago was established in 1869. Believing in the motto of “dare to be wise”, the institution comprises a total of four faculties providing an assorted range of programs in Humanities, Health Sciences, Sciences and Business. It is located in Dunedin and features the 175th position in the QS World University Rankings 2019.

University of Canterbury

As the second earliest academic institution in the country, the University of Canterbury (UC) was previously known as the Canterbury College. It is one of the leading research universities in New Zealand and is spread across a total of 190 acres. Moreover, UC comprises five colleges spread across the disciplines of Health and Human Development, Science, Law, Business, Education and Engineering.

Victoria University of Wellington

A former constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the Victoria University of Wellington established itself as an independent institution in the year 1961. It is majorly renowned for its courses in the field of Law, Science and Humanities. It is one of the most popular universities in New Zealand and is well-known for its varied degree programs in Engineering and Technology, Business, Management, Finance and Accounting.

Lincoln University

Named after Abraham Lincoln, the university came into being in 1878 and is presently home to students from 60 countries across the globe. The most popular academic programs offered by the institution are in the field of human services and teacher education. Lincoln University provides 37 undergraduate minors, 22 majors and 5 pre-professional courses. It is one of those few universities in New Zealand that comprise an overwhelming majority of African American students.

Top Universities in New Zealand According to QS Rankings 2023

Following are the top universities in New Zeland according to QS world rankings 2023:

University QS World Rankings 2023
University of Auckland 87
University of Otago 217
Victoria University of Wellington 275
University of Canterbury 284
Massey University 292
University of Waikato 331
Lincoln University 368
Auckland University of Technology 486

Cheapest Universities in New Zealand

Here is a list of the cheapest universities in New Zealand for international students.

Top Universities in New Zealand for Masters

Tabulated below is a list of some of the most esteemed universities offering Masters for a variety of courses in New Zealand.

University QS World Rankings 2023
University of Auckland =85
University of Otago =194
Victoria University of Wellington =236
University of Canterbury =258
Massey University 284
Lincoln University 372
University of Waikato =373
Auckland University of Technology =451

Study in New Zealand without IELTS

  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Auckland
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Otago
  • Unitec Institute of Technology

Colleges Accepting 5.5 IELTS Band in New Zealand

Listed below are some universities in New Zealand that accept 5.5 IELTS band scores: 

Study in New Zealand without GMAT and Work Experience

Here are some universities where you can study MBA without GMAT or work experience:

  • University of Canterbury
  • Massey University
  • University of Waikato 


Is college in New Zealand affordable?

International students must pay tuition in order to attend a public institution in New Zealand. The amount varies depending on the type of degree, education level, and length of your studies: Bachelor’s degrees typically cost 4,100–6,100 EUR each year. Master’s degrees range from 7,300 to 10,500 EUR per year.

Is college free in New Zealand?

Free tuition for college. For students who are beginning their first year of university, the New Zealand government waives all tuition for one year.

Which country has cheaper tuition: Australia or New Zealand?

Depending on the length of the course and the university you are applying to, the cost of living and education will vary. So if you’re wondering if New Zealand or Australia is more affordable for studying, New Zealand is the superior choice when compared to Australia.

Thus, New Zealand is developing as a preferred study destination with its globally acclaimed universities striving toward academic excellence. If you are planning to pursue a program at any of the above-mentioned universities in New Zealand, our Leverage Edu experts are here to help you throughout the process of choosing a suitable course and university, making an impressive application and getting shortlisted.

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