Education opportunities

Come to Wellington to study and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to our well-regarded education institutions

student in Victoria Uni library

There’s a whole range of places to study in Wellington, from primary schools and colleges to world-leading universities, private institutes and language schools - the possibilities are endless.

Both co-ed and single sex schools for boys and girls throughout the region offer wonderful learning environments and provide a range of academic and co-curricular activities for students. Schools have a decile rating, which measure the socio-economic position of a school's student community relative to other schools throughout the country.

Students walking and talking at Vic Uni

Tertiary sector highly-ranked

In fact, New Zealand sits comfortably in the world’s top 20 nations for the quality of our schools according to the OECD in 2016.

Our tertiary sector is top notch too - our three universities, Victoria, Otago and Massey, are all ranked in the top three percent in the world, and each is also ranked in the top 100 in the world for one or more of its specialist areas.

We have institutes of technology as well as numerous private tertiary institutions that specialise in subjects such as culinary skills, performing arts, art and design and technology. WelTec and Whitireia offer a range of industry-led qualifications from certificates through to degrees and postgraduate programmes.

Secondary schooling

Most secondary students go to government-funded state schools, though there are also state-integrated and private schools, either co-ed or single sex for boys and girls. State-integrated schools teach the New Zealand Curriculum, but keep their own special character (usually a philosophical or religious belief) as part of their school programme.

Also known as high schools or colleges, secondary school goes from years nine to 13 (usually aged between 13-19) and have a broad yet balanced curriculum. Students have different teachers for their subject choices and work towards the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

S International student painting school v2
Kelburn Normal School Corridor Students

Primary learning

Children in New Zealand start school once they turn five. Primary education starts at Year 1 and goes to Year 8 (around 5–12 years of age). Most primary and intermediate schools are state schools which means they are government-funded so don’t charge school fees and teach the national curriculum. Within the state school system there are English and te reo Māori options options for different age-groups, language and cultures, values and religious beliefs.

Some primary schools cater for years 1-8, while others go from years 1-6 and then students enrol in intermediates, which are soley for years 7 and 8.

Other opportunities

There are also many language schools that can help improve your English while studying here. You can even gain valuable experience in New Zealand workplaces through internships and graduate programmes.

The Study in Wellington team offers a range of student programmes to enhance the experience of studying in Wellington and support students to be work ready.

Whether it’s schools or tertiary institutions, public or private, check out your study options.

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