School system

Preschool and kindergarten are voluntary in New Zealand and are normally for children aged 3 to 5. Compulsory schooling is from the age of 6 to 16. There are 13 years in the New Zealand school system (primary, intermediate and secondary). State schools are free, but most schools request a 'donation' in lieu of a school fee amounting to a few hundred NZD per year. Parents are also required to pay for school materials, uniforms, school trips and other expenses. The school year starts at the beginning of February and is divided into four terms. In primary and intermediate schools the school year ends shortly before Christmas; in secondary schools at the beginning of December.


New Zealand has eight public universities. As educational institutions at the cutting edge of knowledge and research that aim to meet New Zealand's needs and those of our increasingly interconnected global community, these universities offer a wide range of degree programmes in all subjects.

The grade point average is a key component of the admission criteria to New Zealand's universities. Specific requirements vary depending on the degree programme. Students and graduates of Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences benefit from facilitated admission to New Zealand universities as Swiss qualifications are generally recognised as equivalent to New Zealand ones.

Tuition fees for international students are considerably higher than for New Zealand students, except for PhD programmes.


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