25 Best Universities In New Zealand For International Students 2024

If you are looking to study in New Zealand, you are surely making a great choice. This location has a lot to offer for international students, including world-class universities and exciting student experiences. With more than 25 universities and colleges in New Zealand, you’ll surely have a wide range of choices.

Out of 25 universities in New Zealand, University of Auckland and University of Otago are the top-performing schools in New Zealand. This list covers both public and private institutions in New Zealand.

To help you narrow down your school options, we’ve compiled the best universities in New Zealand. We based our rankings on academic reputations from reputable sources and the number of international students. By doing this, you’ll have an efficient way of comparing your target universities and choose your host university in New Zealand.

Rank University Founded Year City Type
1 University of Auckland 1883 Auckland Public
2 University of Otago 1869 Dunedin Public
3 Auckland University of Technology 2000 Auckland Public
4 Victoria University of Wellington 1897 Wellington Public
5 University of Waikato 1964 Hamilton, New Zealand Public
6 Lincoln University 1878 Lincoln, New Zealand Public
7 University of Canterbury 1873 Christchurch Public
8 Massey University 1927 Palmerston North Public
9 Otago Polytechnic 1870 Auckland Public
10 New Zealand Tertiary College 1982 Auckland Private
11 Southern Institute of Technology 1971 Invercargill Public
12 Unitec Institute of Technology 1976 Auckland Public
13 Open Polytechnic of New Zealand 1946 Lower Hutt Public
14 NorthTec 1978 Whangarei Public
15 Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology 2016 Rotorua Public
16 Ara Institute of Canterbury 2016 Christchurch Public
17 Universal College of Learning 1892 Palmerston North Public
18 Waikato Institute of Technology 1924 Hamilton, New Zealand Public
19 Wellington Institute of Technology 2001 Lower Hutt Public
20 Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki 1972 New Plymouth Public
21 Eastern Institute of Technology 1975 Napier Public
22 Whitireia New Zealand 1986 Porirua Public
23 Manukau Institute of Technology 1970 Auckland Private
24 Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology 1905 Nelson Public
25 Auckland Institute of Studies 1990 Auckland Private

How do I get admission to the best universities in New Zealand?

Applying to the universities in New Zealand involves submitting requirements and following specific admissions procedures set by your chosen university. The requirements often include a student visa, application packages, and language scores. Check out our guide for international students who want to study in New Zealand to learn more about applying for admission in this country’s universities!

How much are the tuition fees at the best universities in New Zealand?

Tuition fees at New Zealand’s universities can vary depending on which university, degree, and program you will be enrolling in. Generally, tuition fees for the bachelor’s level range from 6,300 NZD to 48,900 NZD , while tuition fees for the master’s level range from 16,400 NZD to 63,500 NZD. If you are interested, check out the affordable universities in New Zealand!

As we cover the best universities in New Zealand for international students, feel free to check out the university’s information on Admission, Tuition, Courses, and Language Requirements by looking at the individual university pages.

Top Universities in New Zealand for International Students

1 University of Auckland

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#1 in New Zealand
#10 in Oceania
#124 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 34,521

The University of Auckland is a public research university in Auckland, New Zealand. As an affiliate college of the University of New Zealand, it was established in 1883 as the Auckland University College. The university consistently ranks among the top 100 universities in the world and provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of subjects.

Arts
Early Childhood Studies
Sport, Health and Physical Education
Commerce
Fine Arts

2 University of Otago

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#2 in New Zealand
#19 in Oceania
#230 in World
Percentage of International Students
14%
Total Number of students - 21,241
International Number of students - 3,000

The University of Otago, a public academic institution in Dunedin, New Zealand, was established in 1869. Not only is the university the oldest in the country, but it is also known as the oldest in Oceania. As home to more than 21,000 students, the university boasts a diverse student population and reliable international support services. Some of the most popular study fields in the university are Arts, Sciences, Medicine, and Business.

Anthropology
Data Science
Finance
International Business
Molecular Biotechnology

3 Auckland University of Technology

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#3 in New Zealand
#27 in Oceania
#400 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 29,000

The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is a university in Auckland, New Zealand. It was founded in 1895 as a technical college, but it was only given university status in 2000. It is the third-largest university in the nation and enrolls approximately 29,000 students in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Business
Computer Science
Design
Hospitality Management
Health Science

4 Victoria University of Wellington

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#4 in New Zealand
#30 in Oceania
#424 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 22,273

The Victoria University of Wellington is a public university in Wellington, New Zealand. It was established as a part of the University of New Zealand in 1897. The university offers a wide range of other disciplines, including architecture, business, engineering, and health sciences, but it is known for its law and humanities programs.

Building Science
Commerce
Design Innovation
Music
Midwifery

5 University of Waikato

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#5 in New Zealand
#31 in Oceania
#448 in World
Percentage of International Students
16%
Total Number of students - 10,537
International Number of students - 1,727

The University of Waikato is a public research university in Hamilton, New Zealand with an additional campus in Tauranga. In order to address Hamilton’s teacher shortage, it was established in 1964. The institution offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business, the humanities, science, and language studies in addition to research programs in the social sciences, the environment, and education.

Business
Communication
Climate Change
Environmental Planning
Health, Sport and Human Performance

6 Lincoln University

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#6 in New Zealand
#33 in Oceania
#479 in World
Percentage of International Students
28%
Total Number of students - 3,484
International Number of students - 975

Lincoln University is a public agricultural research university in Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand. It was established in 1878 as the School of Agriculture of Canterbury University College, and in 1990 it was given university status. The Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Faculty of Environment, Society, and Design are its only three academic departments, making it the smallest university in the nation.

Agribusiness and Food Marketing
Horticulture
Food Science
Sports and Recreation Management
Global Business

7 University of Canterbury

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#7 in New Zealand
#35 in Oceania
#502 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 18,771

The University of Canterbury is a public research university in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was first established in 1873 as Canterbury College, a part of the University of New Zealand. The institution offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the humanities, business, education, law, social sciences, and music.

Data Science
Product Design
Music
Sport Coaching
Fine Arts

8 Massey University

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#8 in New Zealand
#36 in Oceania
#553 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 30,883

Massey University is a public university in New Zealand with campuses in Palmerston North, Albany, and Wellington. It was established in 1927 as a result of the New Zealand Agricultural College Act, which permitted the merger of numerous agricultural schools. The institution provides undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a variety of subject areas, including nanoscience, veterinary medicine, aviation, and conflict resolution, all of which are uniquely available at Massey University.

Nursing
Information Sciences
Social Work
Sport and Exercise
Resource and Environmental Planning

9 Otago Polytechnic

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#9 in New Zealand
#47 in Oceania
#7222 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 9,281

The vision and values of Otago Polytechnic are surrounded by their goals of building student capabilities and skills. As one of New Zealand’s leading educational institutions, they emphasize the importance of research and academic projects that are vital to the nation’s growth. Currently, Otago Polytechnic delivers more than 180 programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Besides fostering academic excellence, Otago Polytechnic provides a student-friendly environment as they emphasize real-life learning in their classes. As a result of the university’s efforts to provide quality education, they are hailed as one of the country’s top-performing institutions.

Accounting Administration
Architecture
Game Development
Construction Management
Applied Management

10 New Zealand Tertiary College

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#10 in New Zealand
#48 in Oceania
#7215 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data

New Zealand Tertiary College is a private college in Auckland, New Zealand. Glennie Oborn, an educator, started it as the Kindercare Early Childhood Teachers College in 1982. It was the first university to get an early childhood program approved. The college currently provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a range of educational disciplines.

Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
Education (Early Childhood Education)

11 Southern Institute of Technology

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#11 in New Zealand
#49 in Oceania
#7235 in World
Percentage of International Students
7%
Total Number of students - 13,758
International Number of students - 933

The Southern Institute of Technology is committed to offering an effective and quality education relevant to the student’s professional success. This university is known for being one of the main providers of higher education in New Zealand, not only for its large student population but also for its active presence in a large part of the country. It has campuses in four cities, two specialized teaching centers, and the option of studying online. It’s also famous for its tuition-free scheme for all domestic students in all degree programs and for having affordable tuition fees for international candidates.

Audio Production
Commerce
Engineering Technology
Construction
Environmental Management

12 Unitec Institute of Technology

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#12 in New Zealand
#50 in Oceania
#7277 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 15,420

The Unitec Institute of Technology is one of the biggest technological universities in New Zealand. It focuses on giving students hands-on learning experiences to prepare them for the job market. This is done through research opportunities, collaboration with governmental organizations and international businesses, laboratory practices, and internship programs. Although this is an institute of technology, it has multiple degrees related to other areas like teaching, humanities, or languages. It also offers highly flexible options for working adults as well as the alternUnitec Institute of Technologyative of obtaining credits from your work experience.

Computing Systems
Social Practice
Veterinary Nursing
Construction in Property Development
Applied Science in Biodiversity Management

13 Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

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#13 in New Zealand
#52 in Oceania
#7246 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 30,000

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is perfect for those students that would like to take advantage of New Zealand’s high-quality education without leaving their home country. All programs are taught through distance education and online learning, and it offers a wide variety of bachelor’s degrees and tertiary education certificates. The university has experts in virtual learning, which is why it developed its own online teaching platform that mixes a wide variety of methods and activities, like problem-solving, forums, case studies, videos, and more!

14 NorthTec

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#14 in New Zealand
#53 in Oceania
#7291 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 5,876

NorthTec is mainly known in New Zealand for being an institution that helps preserve Māori traditions. Almost half of its students identify themselves as part of this Polynesian people. The university has special programs that help disseminate the foundations of this culture, like the Māori art bachelor’s degree, and integrated the values of this ethnic group into the curricula and activities. It also has six campuses throughout New Zealand, where the faculty and students constantly collaborate with the local communities.

Applied Science in Biodiversity Management
Applied Management in Accounting
Nursing
Applied Social Work
Sports and Recreation

15 Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

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#15 in New Zealand
#54 in Oceania
#7259 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 7,300

The Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is committed to offering an innovative learning experience to future professionals that will contribute to the local communities and the country’s economy. Besides offering degree programs in different areas of humanities, engineering, and science, the university promotes the preservation of the Māori culture by regularly holding activities and events. It also encourages student wellness through sports, professional development programs, workshops, and team-building projects.

Applied Hospitality and Tourism Management
Creative Industries
Ecology and Biodeiversity
Health, Sport and Human Performance
Nursing

16 Ara Institute of Canterbury

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#16 in New Zealand
#55 in Oceania
#7212 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 5,952

The Ara Institute of Canterbury is a public institute of technology in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was founded in 2016 as a result of the merger of Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Aoraki Polytechnic. The institution focuses on providing applied tertiary education in a wide range of fields, including engineering, architecture, medicine, the creative arts, radio, and many more.

Journalism
Visual Communication Design
Construction Management
Quantity Surveying
Engineering Technology

17 Universal College of Learning

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#17 in New Zealand
#56 in Oceania
#7268 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 5,786

The Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is a polytechnic university in New Zealand with campuses in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Masterton, and Levin. It was founded in 1892 as the Palmerston North Technical School, and it initially offered trade apprenticeship courses. The university currently offers certificate programs as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a variety of subjects.

Applied Management
Visual Arts
Design Media
Creative Media
Applied Science

18 Waikato Institute of Technology

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#18 in New Zealand
#58 in Oceania
#7278 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 13,000

The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) is a technical institute located in Hamilton, New Zealand. Other campuses are located throughout Hamilton and the Waikato Region. It began in 1924 as Hamilton Technical College. Wintec provides undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, as well as tertiary programs in nursing, midwifery, design, engineering, and education.

Design
Media Arts
Communication
Event Management
Accounting

19 Wellington Institute of Technology

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#19 in New Zealand
#59 in Oceania
#7293 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 3,746

The Wellington Institute of Technology, also known as WelTec, is a polytechnic institute in Petone, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. It was formed in 2001 by the merger of the Central Institute of Technology and the Hutt Valley Polytechnic. The institute provides vocational education in more than 130 fields, including business, management, technology, the arts, design, counseling, engineering, and construction.

Applied Business Management
Performing Arts
Information Technology
Counselling and Addiction Practice
Social Work

20 Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki

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#20 in New Zealand
#60 in Oceania
#7305 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 5,000

The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki strives to take the best out of its students in order to make them successful professionals that will meet the needs of the local and international industries. Besides bachelor’s degree programs, this university has multiple certifications and diplomas for those who want to work in a trade or update their skills. Its education is mainly practical. It mixes hands-on learning with modern facilities that include industry projects, a simulation center, a construction training park, engineering laboratories, etc.

Applied Management
Accounting
Teaching Early Childhood Education
Engineering Technology
Nursing

21 Eastern Institute of Technology

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#21 in New Zealand
#61 in Oceania
#7314 in World
Percentage of International Students
4%
Total Number of students - 10,000
International Number of students - 400

The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is a public university in New Zealand with three campuses in Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, and Gisborne. Phil Amos, the minister of education, launched it as the Hawke’s Bay Community College in 1975. The university currently offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in education, humanities, health sciences, and social sciences to over 10,000 students.

Computing Systems
Business Studies
Teaching
Sports and Exercise Science
Social Work

22 Whitireia New Zealand

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#22 in New Zealand
#62 in Oceania
#7318 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 4,471

Whitireia New Zealand is a higher education institution committed to training students by providing a strong support network and a sense of belonging to a community. It works with different industries in order to provide real-life learning experiences and has partnerships with other universities to collaborate academically. It also focuses on developing research that’s innovative and potentially helpful for the local population. This is developed in areas like hospitality, information technology, social services, and healthcare.

Applied Business Management
Creativity in Digital Media
Creativity in Performing Arts
Youth Development
Counselling and Addiction Practice

23 Manukau Institute of Technology

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#23 in New Zealand
#63 in Oceania
#7326 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 14,000

The Manukau Institute of Technology is a private university in Auckland, New Zealand. It was established in 1970 and is now among the biggest national suppliers of technical, vocational, and professional education. The institute provides technical training in a wide range of disciplines, including hairdressing, business, engineering, social work, and culinary arts.

Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Applied Management
Applied Social Work
Applied Sport and Exercise Science

24 Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

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#24 in New Zealand
#64 in Oceania
#7214 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data
Total Number of students - 31,179

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is a public university in New Zealand with campuses in Nelson, Blenheim, Marlborough, Woodbourne, and Richmond. It was established in 1905 to offer training in cooking, engineering, woodworking, commerce, and plumbing. The current programs offered by NMIT include viticulture, aquaculture, nursing, maritime, adventure tourism, creative industries, business, and computing.

Sports and Recreation
Commerce
Information Technology
Aquaculture and Marine Conservation
Computer Generated Imagery

25 Auckland Institute of Studies

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#25 in New Zealand
#46 in Oceania
#7327 in World
Percentage of International Students
No Available Data

The Auckland Institute of Studies is a private university in Auckland, New Zealand. It was founded in 1990 in a shopping mall in the heart of Auckland, and it now includes campuses in St. Helens and Asquith. Programs in finance, language studies, business, information technology, tourism, and hospitality management are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels through the university.

Business
Tourism Management
Hospitality Management
Information Technology

We know that choosing your dream school in New Zealand not an easy task. After all, you need to consider other factors like the cost of your education, school background, and population, as it can be overwhelming on your part.

So, to help you out further in weighing your school options for studying in New Zealand, make sure to visit our list of the best public and private universities in New Zealand! These articles will surely help you in deciding your next study destination!