Primary & Secondary Education

Primary and Secondary Education

The primary and secondary education in New Zealand totalled 13 years (Year 1 – Year 13). Most of the schools are public schools. Students are required to sit for public examinations starting from Grade 9 – NECA (National Certificate of Education Achievement). They will be admitted to Universities after Year 13.


There is no standard requirement but schools usually make reference to previous academic results, conduct performance and English proficiency. In the event that student has not met the English requirement, he/she can enroll on some short term English course and Foundation course. Some schools offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

# Some schools accept international students to be admitted during Term 3 while majority of schools do not accept application of Grade 13.

School Terms

There are four school terms running from late January to mid-December with two-week breaks between them and a six-week summer break at the end of the year.


Term 1 :


Term 2 :


Term 3 :


Term 4 :

Late January to early - April - Two week break

Mid April to early July - Two week break

Mid July to late September - Two week break

Mid October to mid-December - Six week summer holiday


April, July, September and December are holidays (about two weeks - five weeks)

School Hour

School starts from 0845am - 1515pm every Monday - Friday, student will have an hour for lunch.

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NZ VS HK -01

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NZ VS China -02

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NZ VS HK -01
NZ VS HK -01

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The tertiary education in New Zealand tertiary sector covers Private Training Establishments (PTEs) and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs). Currently, there are 19 ITPS subsidized by Government and more than 200 PTE (most of them are registered with NZQA) offering various designations and subjects from Hotel Management, Media Communications, Design, Health and Beauty, etc.

University Education

There are eight public universities in New Zealand. They are well-received and recognized worldwide. The universities offer degree, master and doctoral courses as well as other professional subjects. Some colleges offer fundamental courses.


Tertiary education

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

NCEA (the National Certificate of Educational Achievement) is the main secondary school qualification in New Zealand.

NCEA is actually three certificates: it can be awarded at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Students usually begin studying for their NCEA Level 1 in Year 11 and continue through Years 12 and 13 (from ages 15 through to 18).

Admission Requirement

  • DSE students with at least 3 subjects (including English and 2 electives) reached level 4 or above;

  • IELTS 6.0 or TOEFEL 213 marks

  • Meet requirements as set out by the respective school