Within New Zealand, there are eight Universities, all of which feature in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Univerity Rankings. We outline what the best university in New Zealand is so you can do good in your studies.

University of Auckland

The largest university, with eight facilities and six campuses across New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, makes it an attractive choice to many students from around the world. It has an international airport in the city, where over a quarter of its student flies in from outside New Zealand.

Before taking undergraduate courses, Auckland requires students to obtain an Academic English Language Requirement. 

The UOA has more than 40,000 students and is ranked highly among many international university rankings; #82 in the QS World Univerity Rankings. This university is most desired, as it is ranked #1 in New Zealand for employability and #71 in the QS World Univerity Graduate Employability Rankings.

University of Otago

The oldest higher education institution was established in 1869. With four facilities; humanities, sciences, health sciences and business, Otago holds the best reputation to excel in the health sciences field, with undergraduate and doctoral programmes offered after graduate study. Outside of the town of Dunedin, Otago also has health science institutes in Christchurch and Wellington. 

Otago has more than 20,000 students and is ranked highly throughout the globe at #175 in the QS World Univerity Rankings. Otago warmly welcomes international exchanges, as they have established exchange partnerships with over 90 universities internationally.

This university is most desired for its student social nature, as throughout the year, students often participate in annual celebrations, such as the Undie 500 car rally and Toga Parade. 

University of Canterbury

Another great university in New Zealand is based in the south island city of Christchurch. This university offers a range of courses from arts and fine arts to engineering, and even language pathology.

The university’s international college started in 2013, where the college helps students adapt to studying in New Zealand and offers a foundation studies certificate which includes English and academic proficiency teaching.

Canterbury has more than 15,000 students and is highly ranked internationally at #231 in the QS World Univerity Rankings. Canterbury is notably recognised for its Engineering study options. As a result of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, Canterbury University students innovatively rebuilt the university, indicative of Canterbury’s hands-on approach in their Engineering subject.

How to Choose the best University In New Zealand

If you’re planning on studying at a tertiary education institution, your choice of university is an important decision. As you’ll be spending the next 3-4 years of your life there, choosing well can be the difference between a positive, memorable experience that sets you up for a fulfilling career, and a tragic episode you’ll regret – sometimes, you need to research first, in order to make the right decision.

Decide Your Subject

First and foremost, you want to decide what you want to study and what universities offer that subject.

You want to choose something you are genuinely interested in, as you will be spending up to 4 years of your life learning about your subject of choice. If you’re someone who has interests in multiple areas, many New Zealand universities offer a conjoint degree option, which means you can study two subjects at the same time. When deciding which university best suits your needs, research and make a list of which universities offer your study desires!

Think Academically

One of the things to look at is how well each university is ranked internationally. The Time Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings provide indications of how well a university is doing internationally, based on their teaching, research and global outlook. All 8 New Zealand universities are ranked in the top 3% globally, although you should consider which university is highly ranked for your desired area of study.

Skill Development

Is the university highly praised and recognised? Does it have a good reputation globally, by other academic institutions and by employers? These questions are essential to consider when choosing your university. Studying at an institution which does wonders for your CV and offers employment assistance in your choose field is ideal. 

Consider the Culture

Away from the academic side of studying, is the student culture and societies. If you have a hobby or interest that you wish to continue with at university, finding an institution which fits those desires may be essential to you. While most universities offer a variety of clubs, there are some places which may even encourage you to start a new club. 

Social Life

If you’re wanting to experience the social side of studying, finding a university which meets those needs can make your experience even more memorable.

The party culture of American universities often seen in movies may be appealing, but not all New Zealand universities offer this type of social life. Otago is desirable for its party life with traditional annual celebrations and on-campus student accommodation flat parties. For example, its well-known toga parties and O-week, along with public holiday and weekend events, is a benefit which often draws in students fresh out of high school.

Whereas elsewhere in NZ, the social life of university exists in societies and school-clubs, in the weekend nightlife and special events. 

If you’re still left asking yourself, “What is the best University In NZ”, consider these final points.

Once you have ruled out what you want from your university experience, other points to consider include:

  • Location: You may want to study close to home or study in a specific city. You will need to rule out what universities offer your study option and if you’re willing to live elsewhere in New Zealand to study.
  • Accommodation: If you’re planning to study away from home, you will need to plan where you will live and calculate living costs. In places like Otago, Wellington and Auckland, there is often the option of first-year residence halls. 
  • Cost: Where you study and live will come into play when it comes costs. With the option of student loan/accommodation of up to $231, depending on your living costs, you may have to take on a part-time job while you study,
  • Fees: For most students, first-year fees-free applies. The fees for the remainder of your study years is added to your student loan, which you pay back once you’re working full-time after study. Go home by clicking here.