University | Whare Wānanga

University is a great opportunity for school leavers who are interested in expanding their academic knowledge. Universities offer a range of opportunities for you to express yourself and get involved. Along with your studies, Universities allow you to widen your cultural and sporting abilities and immerse yourself in the everyday student lifestyle whilst making lifelong friends. 


How to Apply

When you have chosen the relevant course, go to the university website and apply through there, you will be required to make an account.

Universities will require you to fill an online application through their website consisting of information such as your NSN number, 

When you apply you will need to be aware of the bachelor of your study and any major or minor subjects you want to take. 

The documents required will differ with each institute, generally, you will need these

  • Birth Certificate 

  • New Zealand Passport

  • Certificate of Citizenship for New Zealand

  • Driver's Licence

  • Academic Transcript (NZQA will provide this)

We recommend you contact the relevant university or visit their website for the documents they require.

Key Dates 

   Universities start the academic year in late February/Early March and finish in November

   Trimester 1 Applications open from August to early December

   Scholarship applications open in July to late August

   3 trimesters 



New Zealand Universities will require that you meet the UE (University Entrance) requirements, these are

   - 14 Credits in each of 3 UE approved subjects 

   - 80 credits at NCEA Level 3 

   - UE Literacy

   - UE Numeracy

Some specific course may require you to have a specific score to gain admission. Look on the website for the specific course.


University Entrance requirements changes due to Covid-19

   - 12 Credits in each of 3 UE approved subjects

   - 60 credits at NCEA Level 3

   - UE Literacy

   - UE Numeracy

Fees and Loans 

Students who are enrolled at a University are eligible for an interest-free student loan, a student allowance and fees-free providing they meet the government's criteria. 


Fees free is a government scheme where you can get your course paid for up to the value of $12,000. This may cover your course fee for one year at a University. 

Here are the basic fees-free eligibility, 

    - New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident

    - Recently left secondary school 

    - Studied half a year of tertiary study at an institute

Student Loans

Here is the basic criteria for student loan eligibility, read the full Student Loan Criteria here

     New Zealand Citizen

     Permanent resident - must have lived in New Zealand for at least 3 years whilst holding a residency class visa

     Refugee protected person or is sponsored.

     Must be studying at a level above secondary education

     On a youth guarantee programme

Studylink is a service provided by the Ministry of Social Development which allows students to borrow an interest-free loan whilst studying. 

You can use the student loan for Living Costs, Course fees or Course related costs. You can apply for a student loan up until your course is completed at the institute. 

A student allowance is weekly payments of money given to you by the government which is not required to be paid back to the government. The amount you receive depends on your parent's income and whether you meet the criteria.

 Here is the basic eligibility criteria for Student Allowance: 

  •    New Zealand Citizen 

  •    New Zealand Permanent Resident - Living in New Zealand for more than 3 years holding a resident class visa

  •    Refugee or Protected person or sponsored

  •    Studying full-time or part-time at an institute. 

  •    The course must be either an approved course under level 7 in the NFA framework or a bachelors degree, or an approved institute overseas 

 Information that will affect your student allowance maybe

  •    Your parent's income

  •    Your income

  •    How many parents you have supporting you

  •    If you have a child 

StudyLink has a calculator on their website which allows you to calculate how much student allowance you can get click here.

You can apply anytime up until the completion of the course, however, the payments will only begin when the application is submitted.

Apply here to get a student allowance. 


There are many scholarships available for University students. Scholarships can be used to cover the full or part of the course fee, accommodation or living costs. Aiming for good grades is beneficial as some scholarships can be highly competitive. Eligibility for a scholarship has a wide range of criteria ranging from academic ability, hardship, extracurricular activities or for studying in a specific faculty. Each scholarship will have different application criteria, some may require you to answer a set of questions and others may require you to write an essay about yourself. If you are intending on taking a gap year after your last year at high school, you may need to apply for a scholarship whilst you are still at school as some scholarships require you to do so. Check the regulations of the scholarship.

Key Dates

Applications are available from June or July.

Applications Close in August or early September.


Accommodation for University students is provided by all institutes in New Zealand.

Types of accommodation provided, these will vary with each University. 

   - Hall-style living

   - Student flats

   - Catered

   - Non-catered

   - Serviced 

   - Non serviced apartments 

These prices range from $100 a week up to $400 a week depending on the accommodation of choice. There are options in some cities and towns to live in accommodation open to university and polytechnic and institutes of technology students. 

Universities in New Zealand

  • Victoria University ​

  • University of Otago

  • The University of Auckland​

  • University of Canterbury


  • Lincoln University

  • Massey University

  • University of Waikato

  • Auckland University of Technology