New Zealand Education Costs

New Zealand Education Costs
According to a recent study, the cost of education at all levels in New Zealand is markedly lower than in other English-speaking countries, with the quality of education the seventh highest in the world. For permanent residents and citizens, primary and secondary education is provided free, although parents must meet the cost of uniforms, stationery and the tax-deductible voluntary annual fee of around NZ$100 – NZ$200.

Private and independent schools are subsidised by the Ministry of Education at around 25 per cent of their annual running costs, although fees at primary and secondary level increased in 2011 by an average of five per cent. In general, initial fees range between NZ$4,000 and NZ$14,000 annually, with each school setting its own fee levels and costs rising as the student progresses through the system. Extras include sports equipment, trips and extra or outdoor activities.

At university level, fees vary according to the course studied, with domestic students paying less than international students, who are charged the full fees.

For example, a domestic undergraduate on an arts course leading to a bachelor's degree will pay on average NZ$4,784 per year, while a science or business studies-based bachelor's degree will cost around NZ$5,521 per year.

The majority of bachelor's degree courses average between NZ$4,500 to NZ$7,500 per year, with postgraduate master's degree courses costing from NZ$7,000 to NZ$14,000 depending on the speciality. Fees vary slightly between universities, with Auckland University charging the most. International student fees for an arts-based bachelor's degree begin at around NZ$18,000 a year.

Course fees for tertiary education based on vocational qualifications vary hugely across the public and private sectors and also depend on the length, content and subject matter of the course taken. Again, international students are charged the full fee, while costs to permanent residents and citizens are considerably lower. For example, fees at the Auckland University of Technology for domestic students range between NZ$4,975 and NZ$5,353.

Several government-sponsored vocational colleges provide free tertiary vocational education for citizens and permanent residents, leading to recognised qualifications in electrical and mechanical engineering. A pioneer in this field is the Waikato Institute of Technology with its Waikato Trades Academy. The institute itself offers a good choice of business and IT-related courses at around NZ$5,000 a year.