The 8 Universities You Can Apply To In New Zealand

Hanging out in a far corner of the world next to Australia, New Zealand is an appealing destination for international students to live and study in… even if it has just eight main universities

To begin with, the country’s landscape is like a real-life Middle-earth, with the incredible natural beauty you may have witnessed in The Lord of the Rings. Students can also enjoy a high quality of life and high standards of education in a safe and welcoming environment. There is a rich cultural diversity made up of a mix of European, Maori, Pacific Islander, and Asian cultures. Finally, graduates from New Zealand universities can be eligible for a post-study work visa that allows them to take advantage of the country’s career opportunities for up to three years.

We know that it’s often easier to choose a destination than to pick a university. If New Zealand is the country for you, the decision gets notably easier since you have a total of eight universities to consider. All of them offer world-class academic opportunities and globally-recognized qualifications. Here’s a look at what sets them apart.


Don’t forget to check out our 2023 guides to New Zealand for postgraduate students and for undergraduate students.

Auckland University of Technology

1. University of Auckland

University of Auckland stands out as the premier academic institution in New Zealand, having secured the top spot on QS’s ranking and being recognized as the 87th best university worldwide.

With its world-class reputation, the institution is celebrated for its research prowess and academic excellence, attracting a global body of over 42,000 international students.

The university has a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in fields ranging from business and engineering to medicine, law, and humanities.

Additionally, the campus of the University of Auckland is a hub of energy, characterized by a dynamic student life that features numerous cultural events, sporting activities, and clubs and societies.

2. University of Otago

Nestled in the stunning city of Dunedin, University of Otago is an academic powerhouse in New Zealand, known for its superior teaching standards and research accomplishments. Founded in 1869, it is also one of the oldest universities in the country.

The university is home to more than 3000 foreign students, representing over 100 countries, offering a diverse and culturally rich academic environment.

Students can gain qualifications from a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs spanning across several disciplines such as health sciences, medicine, humanities, and sciences.

The University of Otago has garnered a reputation for its research culture, equipped with modern research facilities and opportunities for students to engage in various research projects.

Victoria University of Wellington

3. Victoria University of Wellington

With an ideal location in the capital city of New Zealand, the Victoria University of Wellington is a prestigious academic institution that is well-known for its humanities and social sciences faculties, as well as its law programs.

Students have the choice to undertake a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines, including arts, commerce, education, engineering, law, and sciences.

There are a few reasons why students are drawn to this destination:

  • Wellington is a culturally diverse city packed with experiences such as museums, galleries, theaters, and festivals.
  • Located in the heart of the CBD, students have easy access to public transport, restaurants, shops. and other convenient amenities.
  • The city is known for its natural beauty, including stunning coastal views, parks, and recreational areas that are easily accessible from the university.
  • There are many career opportunities and internships for students to partake in, with a plethora of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other businesses that call Wellington home.
  • Wellington has a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that make it a popular destination for international students.

4. University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury can be found in the charming city of Christchurch, where it is recognized for its top-notch academic reputation and research-intensive strengths, with a focus on creating new knowledge and driving innovation.

Students can study in a variety of disciplines at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, with choices between engineering, science, business, arts, and law, among other areas of study.

Campus life here never gets boring, as the University of Canterbury offers numerous opportunities to partake in extracurricular activities, including clubs, societies, cultural events, and sporting activities.

5. Massey University

Massey University stands out as New Zealand’s primary online education institution with over 60 years of experience in distance learning. This means that even students residing outside of New Zealand can choose to study through its flexible learning options.

The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various fields, such as business, education, humanities, and sciences.

With a priority on research-based teaching, Massey University gives students the chance to participate in research projects and gain valuable real-world experience.

6. University of Waikato

Found in the central region of the North Island, University of Waikato is a reputable institution with undergraduate and postgraduate programs in diverse fields of study, including engineering, sciences, law, business, and education.

The university prides itself on its extensive industry partnerships, where students benefit from over 2,000 internship and industry placement opportunities annually. It’s a great chance to gain some valuable work experience and professional networking prospects.

Additionally, the University of Waikato has a welcoming and all-embracing campus culture, offering a large number of student clubs, societies, cultural events, and sports activities to suit everyone.

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University, located in the Canterbury region, has a strong focus on sustainability, especially for the environment and enabling healthy ecosystems. For students interested in environmental studies, agriculture, and ecology, the university is an ideal study abroad choice.

The programs cover undergraduate and postgraduate levels in various disciplines such as  agribusiness, environmental management, landscape architecture, and wildlife management.

With its rural location and small student body, Lincoln University provides students with a close-knit community and a personalized learning experience.

8. The Auckland University of Technology

In the vibrant city of Auckland, the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is an innovative and forward-thinking institution that emphasizes applied research and industry collaborations.

Students of AUT can gain undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in fields that include engineering, health sciences, computer science, business, and art and design.

The university’s commitment to sports science is reflected in the world-class AUT Millennium facility, which leads in cutting-edge training and research opportunities.

Apply Through Our Platform to Study Abroad in New Zealand

Whether you’re interested in business, engineering, medicine, law, or humanities, one of the eight universities in New Zealand is sure to have a program that suits your interests and goals. There are also two additional tertiary education providers in New Zealand that we can help you apply to:

So, if you believe New Zealand is the perfect destination for your higher education, take the next steps to learn more about these universities and programs on the Global Admissions platform. Our knowledgeable Student Advisors are here to help you every step of the way.

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