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Top Universities In New Zealand: A Detailed Guide

top universities in New Zealand

Did you know? New Zealand is the second safest country in the world as per the Global Peace Index 2022. New Zealanders are known for their open nature, friendliness, and honesty. International students keen on getting an all-rounded experience and securing employment overseas should keep New Zealand as their target study-abroad destination owing to its booming economy and annual GDP growth of 2.7%. Even the lifestyle in New Zealand is easy to adapt to, thanks to its high level of government transparency and security. We have listed the top universities in New Zealand that you should check out if you’re considering studying there.

Further, what makes New Zealand a coveted study-abroad destination is the fact that all universities there rank in the top 3% of universities as per QS World Rankings. Anyone who studies in the enriching environment of this country is bound to get the best Return On Investment for their money. 

Highly-Ranked Universities In New Zealand

Following are rankings of universities in New Zealand as per QS Top University Rankings 2022-23 –

RankUniversity Name
#1University of Auckland
#2University of Otago
#3Victoria University of Wellington
#4University of Canterbury (UC)
#5Massey University
#6University of Waikato
#7Lincoln University
#8Auckland University of Technology

#1 The University of Auckland 

Acceptance Rate: 59%
Average Tuition Fees: $30500

The University of Auckland is one of the top universities in New Zealand thanks to its number rank in the country as per QS World University Rankings 2021. It is the largest university in the country, offering students a chance to gain an internationally recognised qualification. Their research-led approach is known worldwide. The university is also in the top 10 in the world in University Impact Rankings which is assessed against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Auckland’s academic disciplines have had a long-standing history of ranking in the top 50 in the world. The university has over 2000 academicians including researchers, scholars, creatives, and more. Located just a five-minute walk from Auckland’s bustling business centre, this university brings you the best of both worlds – theory and research. 

Programmes Offered:

  • Master of Education MEd
  • Bachelor of Dance Studied BDanceSt
  • Bachelor of Engineering Honors
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts 
  • Bachelor of Laws

#2 University of Otago

Acceptance Rate: 58%
Average Tuition Fees: $30000

Did you know? The University of Otago is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world and offers more than 200 graduates across fields like Business, Humanities, Science and more. Its 5-start QS ranking makes it one of the top universities in New Zealand. Otago is the place to be if you are looking for research excellence, quality education, employability and internationalization. As per statistics, 95% of graduates from Otago do not work or apply for higher education. It also offers online/distance study options for those who do not have flexible lifestyles. International students are supported at Otago with special scholarships during their bachelor’s to postgraduate programmes. 

Programmes Offered:

  • BA Anthropology
  • BA Art History and Visual Culture
  • BA Computer Science
  • BA Economics
  • BA Film and Media Studies

top universities in New Zealand

#3 Victoria University of Wellington

Acceptance Rate: 64%
Average Tuition Fees: $33330

What makes Victoria University of Wellington so special is its consistent presence in QS World Rankings. Victoria is not just one of the top universities in New Zealand, but it is also one of the only 17 universities in the world to hold the Five Stars Plus status from QS Universities. It also ranks number in New Zealand for its research intensity. 2000 of 22000 students of this university are international. They are also partners with 170 other universities in 39 countries across the world. If you are looking for a 360 transformation in your persona, the international and real-life experience at Victoria is the impetus you need. 

Programmes Offered:

  • BA Arts with Honours
  • Bcom Commerce with Honours
  • BSc Architectural Studies in Landscape Architecture
  • BSc Biomedical Science with Honours
  • BSc Media Design

#4 University of Canterbury

Acceptance Rate: 50%
Average Tuition Fees: $28500

University of Canterbury (UC) is among the top universities in New Zealand due to its future-focused learning approach. Right from internships to 35 research centres on campus, this university has it all. UC’s vibrant and active student community is all about pushing the limits and empowering others along the way. With student various bodies and clubs to join, students get to take up the charge and hone their interpersonal skills in the process. UC’s motto of lifelong learning facilitates online learning for all those who have an unquenchable thirst to keep learning. UC also claims to have 3000+ employer connections for those looking for jobs upon graduation. 

Programmes Offered:

  • BA Geography
  • BA History
  • BA Honours Mathematics
  • BA Philosophy
  • BFA Graphic Design

#5 Massey University

Acceptance Rate: 65%
Average Tuition Fees: $32000

Massey University is renowned for its teaching grounded in real-world issues. This university ranks among the top universities in New Zealand owing to the relevance and quality of its programmes. It has consistently ranked in the top 3% of universes worldwide. Apart from the multiple accolades that Massey has earned over the years for its research excellence, it also strongly emphasizes its students to take up social and extracurricular activities for their well-rounded development. The faculty of Massey has won 17 national Tertiary Teaching Excellence awards in the past 13 years. It also offers $8 million worth of scholarships to its students. 

Programmes Offered:

  • Bachelor of Business in Economics
  • Bachelor of Business in Finance
  • Bachelor of Communication in Public Relations
  • Bachelor of Information Sciences
  • BSc in Biochemistry

#6 University of Waikato

Acceptance Rate: 65%
Average Tuition Fees: $29000

The University of Waikato attracts students and academics from around the world because of its research, academic excellence and cutting-edge innovation. It has Triple Crown Accreditation and is in the top 1% of business schools globally. Furthermore, the Buddy Programme offered by this university also helps students with accommodation on campus, counselling, and other benefits. Apart from the impeccable conditions, the university also believes in giving its students much-needed hands-on experience under the guidance of highly-qualified faculty members. Waikato’s industrial reach also reflects in its 2000+ placements and internships offered to students every year. 

Programmes Offered:

  • BBus Strategic Management
  • BA Psychology
  • BCS Marketing
  • BDes Design
  • BMCT Creative Technologies

#7 Lincoln University 

Acceptance Rate: 57%
Average Tuition Fees: $17900

Lincoln University is rated as the 17th best small university in the world. The university’s welcoming environment, range of activities, thoughtfully designed courses, experienced faculty and state-of-art facilities makes it one of the top universities in New Zealand. This institute holds the prestigious 5-star rating for internationalization and inclusiveness in the QS Stars Rating System. Students of Lincoln can also access employment opportunities through CareerHub. The university encourages students to gain hands-on experience instead of theory-only learning. It specially organises events to help students to network with reputed names in the industry. This is why Lincoln ranks number 1 in New Zealand for Employment Outcome in QS World University Ranking 2023.  

Programmes Offered:

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance)
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
  • Diploma in Applied Science 
  • Master of Management in Agricultural Systems
  • Master of Science

#8 Auckland University of Technology 

Acceptance Rate: 50%
Average Tuition Fees: $30660

This list will be incomplete without the mention of Auckland University of Technology. It prides itself on being one of the world’s best modern universities. As per THE University Rankings, it is one of the 41st universities in the last 50 years to rank in the top 1% of universities in the world. Their 5-star QS Ratings are a mark of impeccable teaching, employability, research excellence and facilities. With over 100,000 alumni from all over the world and 2200 academics on the faculty, this university is truly deserving of its golden status. Students who are looking for international exposure, a tech-savvy environment, and hands-on experience in a university in New Zealand should opt for this one. 

Programmes Offered:

  • BA Arts Culinary Arts
  • BEng Engineering Honours
  • BHSc Health Science
  • BSc Science
  • MHI Health Informatics

List Of Public Universities In New Zealand For International Students

Name of the universityQS Ranking 2023
University of Canterbury#258
Lincoln University#362
Wellington Institute of Technology#9123
Whitireia New Zealand#272
University College of Learning#292
Massey University#239
Auckland University of Technology#261-280
University of Otago#194
University of Waikato#375
Victoria University of Wellington#223
University of Auckland#87

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is the quality of life in New Zealand good?

New Zealand ranks 10th in terms of quality of life globally, making it very safe and easy to settle into. With a strong economy, a great education system, a low cost of living, great healthcare and a low crime rate, New Zealand has one of the best qualities of life to offer to anyone from across the globe. 

2) What is the nicest city to live in New Zealand?

Auckland is recommended to anyone willing to get a thriving first-world city experience. The job market in this city is booming with opportunities for anyone looking for jobs. With pleasant weather and great beaches, life in Auckland is rich.

3) Is it expensive to study in New Zealand?

Your tuition fee and expenditure depend on the city and university you choose. However, it is recommended to have NZ$ 22,000 to 35,000 a year. Most high-ranking New Zealand universities have their fee structure, so you must also check them out.

4) Does the government offer any benefits to students?

There are many schemes offered by the New Zealand government. One of them offers single students aged under 24 and living away from home NZ$ 227.03 a week. 

Thank you for reading our blog on Top Universities in New Zealand. Feel free to check out more blogs from us:

  1. Commonwealth Scholarships All You Need To Know
  2. Best Study Abroad Scholarships
  3. Fully Funded PG, PhD and Post Doc Scholarships Across The Globe

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Top Universities In New Zealand: A Detailed Guide

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