Top 8 Universities in New Zealand for International Students 

New Zealand is replete with towering mountains and golden beaches, and this makes it a great tourist attraction.

Apart from their great tourist attractions, this nation has great educational institutes. And we will identify some of the top universities in New Zealand for international students.

So, we have prepared this comprehensive article on everything you need to know about academic institutions, including tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, ranking, and even how to get your New Zealand student visa.

About New Zealand Universities

New Zealand as a country with a population of just over 4.5 million people is respected and recognized all over the world because of their rugby team.

The rugby team sits on the number spot in the world, as they are the world rugby champions. Have you ever watched their famous dance performance when they step into the rugby pitch? Yeah!! You’re missing out on one of the best performances of all time.

New Zealand universities are among the top 200 universities in the world as their most prestigious university stands at number 82.

I can tell you about my friend Tony who horned a dream of studying in New Zealand but however, he was limited by money.

He had made savings and even investments but like we know, many things happen that we cannot explain.

He didn’t realize that he as an international student, could leverage scholarship opportunities, student loans and grants that could smoothen his run and keep his dream alive.

Today, Tony is a student at the University of Otago. I know you may desire to know how he pulled it off, I’ll show you how in this article.

So let’s look at the top universities in New Zealand, their rankings, tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, and their websites;

List Of The Top Universities In New Zealand

We have carefully made our choice of these exceptional universities based on their rankings, number of students and the quality of programs they offer. These universities include:

1. University of Auckland

The University of Auckland which is a public institution was founded in the year 1883. “By natural ability and hard work” is the motto of the university and it has stayed true to this motto through the quality of professionals that they have produced.

This University is the largest and most prestigious University in the whole of New Zealand as it has a world ranking of 81.

The university has over 40,000 enrolled students with more than 5,000 staff members.

The university has eight faculties which are;

Faculty of Arts

This faculty was home to the social sciences, humanities, languages and Indigenous studies at the University of Auckland. You’re conferred with the honors of Bachelor of art after you’ve studied any of the following courses;

  • Linguistics,
  • History,
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chinese
  • Classical Studies
  • Coding and Logic
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminology
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dance Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Employment Relations and Organisation Studies
  • English
  • Geography
  • Global Environment, and Sustainable Development
  • Global Politics and Human Rights
  • Language Teaching and Learning
  • Languages and Literature
  • Latin
  • Latin American Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Pacific Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Theological and Religious Studies
  • Tongan and Translation studies

Business School

The University’s business school has an unconditional commitment to promoting quality teaching and research in topics that are forward-focused and relevant to the commercial world.

The school runs both undergraduate and post-graduate programs for courses like; Accounting and Finance, Commercial Law, Economics, Information Systems and Operations Management, Management, and International Business, Marketing, and Property.

You’re conferred with the honors of Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of the property after the duration of your program. The program spans for three years and kicks off from November.

Creative Arts and Industries

This industry has an unconditional and unwavering commitment to quality teaching and research in topics that are futuristic and highly relevant to the commercial world. It offers Bachelor Degrees In Architectural Studies, Dance Studies, And Fine Arts; Master’s Degrees on Music, Urban Planning And Urban Design And Post Graduate Diplomas On Architecture, Dance, Fine Arts, And Music. They teach a range of subjects on these courses.

Faculty of Education and Social work

You are open to a list of choices as this faculty encapsulates both educational and social courses. They run across teaching and education in coherence with social work and counseling. You are eligible for a degree whether Bachelor, Masters and Post Graduate Diplomas on courses like; Counselling, Human Services and Social Work, Critical Studies in Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Learning Development and Professional Practice.

Faculty of Engineering

The faculty of engineering has ambition and they are seriously committed to creating an environment where people can thrive and contribute to improving the quality of life in all communities.

The faculty of engineering has six departments that run its programs. The departments are; chemical and materials engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, engineering science, and mechanical engineering.

Faculty of Law

In New Zealand, this faculty offers one of the largest range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the Auckland Law School is a renowned international reputation for academic excellence and also ranked highly as one of the best law schools in the world.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

The faculty of medicine and health sciences remains totally committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities through excellence in research, service, teaching, and engagement. The faculty runs degree, masters and Ph.D. programs in diverse departments in its schools which are School of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Optometry and Vision Science, School of Pharmacy and School of Population Health.

Faculty of sciences

The faculty of science is still working hard in a bid to collate departments to provide outstanding quality teaching and research opportunities to young people. The faculty is only able to achieve this dream through its departments which are; biological sciences, chemical sciences, computer science, environment, exercise sciences, marine science, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics.

The University also has three institutes that aid research in all areas especially in health and engineering which are; Liggins Institute, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and Research institutes and centers

University of Auckland Tuition fees

Since the university runs a lot of programs under different platforms, the tuition fees actually differ for all of them. To check the full tuition fee details, please click the link.-:

University of Auckland Scholarship Opportunities

I know you might wonder if there are scholarships that will benefit you. There are amazing scholarship opportunities for international and native students who wish you to be enrolled in this institution. The scholarships are subdivided into; undergraduate scholarships, postgraduate scholarships, summer research scholarships and then as I earlier mentioned scholarships for international students.

The university has more than 5 campuses and you can visit their official website when you click the button below.

University Website

2. University of Otago

The University of Otago is the oldest university in New Zealand. It is geographically located in Dundelin Otayo, was established in 1896 and admitted its first students in 1871.

The university which has a motto “dare to be wise” has over 20,000 students that are currently enrolled in its system and also 3,800 staff both administrative and academic that help in maintaining and setting better standards for the University. It’s students comfortably reside in 15 colleges.

The University of Otago is currently ranked 151 in the world ranking of universities that it has maintained over the years as it runs over 190 undergraduate and post-graduate programs.

The university has four faculties with a wider range of departments that are inculcated in them. The four faculties are; commerce, health sciences, humanities, and sciences.

  • Commerce

The faculty of commerce is also known as the University of Otago Business School. In its bid to achieve excellence, the school has continually produced business graduates who are dexterous, efficient, capable, capable and highly determined.

The Otago Business School ensures that these needs are met with a full range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive-level study options. An optimum program, The Otago MBA, can be studied on-campus or anywhere in the world via the institution’s online platform.

The international EQUIS and AACSB accreditations will show that your business education is truly world-class and globally recognized. At the Otago Business School, it’s more than just a degree as you can study, volunteer in the community, participate in student exchanges, adopt paid internships and still make the most of Otago’s legendary student lifestyle.

The departments under the Otago Business School include accountancy & finance, economics, entrepreneurship, executive education, information science, international business, management, and marketing.

  • Health Sciences

They possess international recognition for the high standard of its graduates and research, the division aims to provide not only New Zealand society but every community with a highly-qualified specialist workforce in the health professions.

To achieve this primary objective, they have programs for undergraduates. These programs are run in diverse departments; dental technology, radiation therapy, dentistry, medical laboratory science, medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, oral health, and biomedical sciences.

The duration of the program largely depends on your course of choice.

  • Humanities

The faculty seeks to investigate the human world, human relations to themselves and to each other and also their relationship with their environments especially when changes occur. Humanities allow professional programs such as Law, Teaching, Arts and Social Sciences, Social Work, Anthropology And Archaeology, English And Linguistics, Geography, History And Art History, Languages And Cultures, Media, Film And Communication, Music, Philosophy and Theology.

They run diploma courses in global cultures, language, and culture, language, and graduates.

  •  Sciences

The Division of Sciences has steadily built research and teaching strengths in human performance and health, in fundamental and applied sciences and in environmental science. They offer several disciplines that are exceptional to Otago.

Studying Science at Otago allows you to participate and learn in an environment where exceptional research projects are always underway. It’s an environment that has earned an international reputation.

The departments under the faculty/school of science are; Applied Science

Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Food Science, Geology, Human Nutrition, Marine Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Surveying and Zoology

University of Otago Tuition Fees

The average tuition fees that are footed at the university can be seen in the table below.

Semester feeNZ$12,800
Full-year (two semesters)NZ$25,600
Summer SchoolNZ$3,200 Per Course
(maximum of two courses permitted)

If you want to pay them through installments and even pay for two semesters at once, you can do that through this link;

University of Otago Scholarship Opportunities

The university has entrance scholarships for students both local and international intending to study in Otago; undergraduate scholarships for those that need sponsorship for their education; masters’ scholarship for those who desire to pursue a master’s course; a doctoral degree scholarship for interested candidates; an external scholarship for and finally Postgraduate publishing bursaries for candidates that need financial support to complete papers from your thesis research?

University Website

3. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is a public university that was founded in the year 1873. Located in Christ church Canterbury, it is the second oldest university and one of the best universities in New Zealand.

The university has five colleges: Arts, Business and Law, Education Health and Human Development and Science.

  • Arts

The College of Arts is culturally diverse and academically vibrant. These degrees which have been offered at UC since 1873, with different programs now available in over 40 disciplines cutting across languages and creative arts, humanities, fine arts, music social sciences also not excluding including social work.

It is a wonderful time to be pursuing studies in fields you are passionate about and UC is a perfect frame for your picture.

  • Business and Law

UC’s College of Business and Law possesses two prestigious and distinct schools – UC Business School and the School of Law.

UC Business School has a rigid international reputation for fostering innovation and has extensive connections with industries and other business schools worldwide. The qualifications of this business school have gained international recognition and are underpinned by astute research.

The great range of Executive Development Programmes includes the iconic MBA and boasts an internationally recognized teaching reputation.

The School of Law has an ancient tradition of offering academic scholarship and is one of New Zealand’s leading Law schools. The Criminal Justice program is exceptional within New Zealand and the academics have brought through other innovative courses such as Media Law, Antarctic Legal Studies, Law and Sport, Law and Medicine.

The bachelor of commerce in cognizance with other honors is available for the business school while the Law degree structure demands 8 compulsory core law courses, 12 or 13 elective law courses (dependent on whether the compulsory core course in Equity was completed as a 15 or 30 point course) and 75 points from other UC courses.

  • Education, Health and Human |Development

There are exciting and highly rewarding careers in education and health that require skilled and well-educated practitioners. The student will be equipped so you can make a positive difference to the lives people and their communities at large. The graduates of this college are sought after nationally and internationally due to their core understanding of all the technicalities, making them very employable.

We offer specialized and flexible programs in Health Sciences (including Nursing, Child and Family Psychology and Counselling), Teacher Education (at all levels), Sports Coaching and Education Studies, and Leadership that employs the latest e-learning and teaching technologies innovations.

Many courses in this university can be by blended learning or they will be undertaken on-campus or through distance learning options.

This college has schools like the School of Health, School of Teacher Education, and School of Education Studies and Leadership. Indeed, their faculties prove they’re one of the best universities in New Zealand.

  • Engineering

The Civil and Natural Resources Engineering Department in the University of Canterbury is among the top 100 worldwide Civil Engineering departments. Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Chemical and Process Engineering are ranked in the top 250.

An Engineering degree from UC is highly internationally recognized, allowing graduates to work worldwide. The very broad range of postgraduate specialist qualifications is designed to meet industry demand and graduates are sought after locally and internationally.

Some schools within the College of Engineering are interdisciplinary. With the subject of Maths a crucial element of most degrees, the college hosts the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

School of Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Chemical and Process Engineering, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Mechanical Engineering


The school of science in this institution believes in the mantra “science is an innovation”. This is why they remain focused on building exceptional scientists and also take time in carrying out their research.

The school has faculties such as; Biological, Communication Disorders, Environmental Science, Gateway Antarctica, Geography, Geological Sciences, Psychology, Physical and Chemical Sciences and Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management

University of Canterbury Tuition

The tuition fees for this university vary for the different programs. To get the full list of tuition fees to go to this link;

University of Canterbury Scholarship

An online platform on the university website has been created to take care of scholarships. Scholarships abound on all levels from undergraduate to post-graduate for both international and native students.

4. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington was founded in the year 1897. The university is known for courses such as law, humanities and scientific disciplines. In this University, it’s possible to have a direct entry into your second year.

This university that has a motto “wisdom is more to be desired than gold”, it remains one of the best universities in New Zealand that offers Architecture as a course.

The university is made up of five faculties;

  • Faculty of Architecture and Design.
  • Victoria Business School
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Health
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science
  • Toihuarewa – a separate pan-University Faculty equivalent
  • Faculty of Architecture and Design

This faculty houses the school of architecture and the school of design. Their expertise is visibly explicable as they have masterminded the creation of beautiful structures in the Institution.

  • Victoria Business School

Victoria Business School which is located in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand’s center of innovation, policymaking, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

As a capital city business school, we take pride in developing leaders who have the ability to consider the governance commercial and social implications of economic activities. We understand that organizational success requires environmental, financial and social sustainability.

The business school offers courses on accountancy, marketing, human resource management and international relations, tourism management, and information systems.

  • Faculty of Education

The school of education seeks to teach the systems and values that build the educational process. How they can be systematically and consistently applied so as to yield results.

It runs programs on Education, Teacher Education, and Educational Psychology.

  • Faculty of Engineering

This the hub of the electronic and technological system of growth. In these faculties, you are open to learning a range of skills on graphics, software engineering, and computer science.

You can learn how to build safe networks for cyber files and the engineering process behind networking. Some of the programs it runs are in departments such as; Software and Computer Science, Computer graphics, Electronics, and Computer system and Networking and Security.

  • Faculty of Health

This faculty specifically has a duty to educate or train the student on basic rudiments of human health. Underlying all the work is a true acknowledgment of the vulnerability of those who are in need of healthcare. Our staff, our students and our graduates all proud to meet these people’s needs sensitively, safely, resourcefully, compassionately, effectively and efficiently.

The student is taught to understand the human health default system, he also is taught the mechanism of protection and the antidote to human health failures.

The School of Health and the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health give bachelor degrees to highly qualified students.

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

This is the platform that challenges your creativity and spurs you to radical thinking aimed at human and societal development.

They offer a range of courses in their diverse schools that aid in this systematic process of building.

The faculty has nine schools that are embedded in it which are;

  • School of Art History, Classics, and Religious Studies
  • School of English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies
  • School of History, Political Science, Philosophy and International Relations
  • International Institute of Modern Letters
  • School of Languages and Cultures
  • School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
  • New Zealand School of Music
  • School of Social and Cultural Studies.
  • Faculty of Law

This faculty is highly renowned and recognized for this program as it has graduated exceptional lawyers both civil and corporate in the globe.

This course is offered in both undergraduate and post-graduate programs.

  • Faculty of Science

The faculty has the drive to spur research and development in its students so as to train renowned and quality scientists and specialists in science professionals.

Through a number of courses such as physics, geography, environmental sciences, biomedical sciences, psychology, mathematics and statistics, chemistry, etc.

Victoria University of Wellington Tuition Fees

The tuition fees vary for different programs. So for this reason, to pay your tuition fees and other compulsory levies, there’s a link that has been provided to help you get access to all the tuition fees. The link is;

Victoria University of Wellington Scholarship

Scholarships abound for students of all levels. For the undergraduate student that seeks funding for his education, the Ph.D. student that seeks funding for his doctoral degree and even for summer research.

These scholarships are available to both local and international students.

University Website

5. University of Waikato

The University of Waikato was founded in 1964 as a comprehensive university. This university which has risen 127 places over the past five years holds the 274th place in the world ranking.

The University runs close to ten colleges/faculties. These colleges will be listed below. They are;

  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.
  • Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences.
  • Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education.
  • The Te Huataki Waiora Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance.
  • Te Piringa – Faculty of Law.
  • Waikato Management School.
  • Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao – Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies.
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering.
  • Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research.
  • Pathways College.
  • University of Waikato Tuition

The tuition fees for this institution can be calculated for the annual year using the fees calculator.

International and local students are availed to a process that makes it easier for the payment of every other cost. To get a hold of your options, you can access the university fees portal using the link;

University of Waikato Scholarship

The university has 137 scholarship opportunities for all its students. These scholarships are sponsored by the university, Government and private institutions.

These scholarships are different from student grants and loans.

University Website

6. Massey University

Massey University a Public University located in North, Wellington, New Zealand that has a motto “let knowledge flourish” was founded in the year 1927. With over 35,000 enrolled students both on-campus and on extra-mural classes. It is New Zealand’s second-largest university except international students that are enrolled in diverse programs in the institution.

Massey University can boast to be the only university in the whole of New Zealand that offers degrees in dispute resolutionaviation, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience. The university has three campuses and an extramural center.

Massey University which has a world rank of 140 runs undergraduate and post-graduate programs for both local and international students in their faculties and schools. Some of which are;

  • Creative Arts.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Sciences

Massey University Tuition Fees

The tuition fees at Massey University are calculated as the total cost of the study. These also include non-tuition fees. For further information on tuition fees and any other payments please click the link;

Massey University Scholarships

Massey University offers a wide range of scholarship programs for local and international students. Massey University awards over 350 scholarship that is worth over $3 million.

These scholarships are for different programs run at the University.

University Website

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University which has a world ranking of 1,280 was founded in the year 1898 but officially launched out with its name in 1990 when it broke its affiliation with the University of Canterbury.

The university which is one of the best universities in New Zealand sits on over 123 hectares of land has over 3000 students and has been up and doing due to the defiance of its over 600 staff.

The university has three faculties that are encompassed with departments. The faculties which are;

  • Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce.
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Life sciences.
  • Faculty of Environment, Society, and Design.

Lincoln University Tuition Fees

The university has a good number of fees that are paid to get enrolment into its programs. These fees are outlined in the table below;

DurationTuition fee
Four-week module$1,800
12-week module$5,400
16-week module$7,200

Pre-degree Programmes

ProgramTuition fee per year
Certificate in University Studies (one semester/60 credits)$9,200
Diploma in University Studies (semester 1/60 credits)$9,800
Diploma in University Studies (semesters 2 and 3/120 credits)$26,000

Certificate and Diploma Programmes

ProgramTuition fee per year
Certificate of Proficiency (Undergraduate per course)$3,300
Diploma in Agriculture$20,400
Diploma of Horticulture$20,400
Diploma of Farm Management$25,500
Diploma of Horticultural Management$25,500

Undergraduate Degrees including Honours

ProgramTuition fee per year
Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing$28,500
Bachelor of Agricultural Science$29,500
Bachelor of Agriculture$29,500
Bachelor of Commerce – all majors$26,500
Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture)$28,500
Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture and Professional Accounting)$27,500
Bachelor of Environment and Society$26,500
Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning$28,500
Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Planning (Honours)$28,500
Bachelor of Land and Property Management$26,500
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture$29,500
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Grad) (150 credits)$36,875
Bachelor of Science – all majors$29,000
Bachelor of Social ScienceContinuing students only
Bachelor of Software and Information TechnologyContinuing students only
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management$26,500
Bachelor of Tourism Management$26,500
Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology$29,500

Study Abroad

ProgramTuition fee per year
Study Abroad (one semester/60 credits)$12,500
Study Abroad (two semesters/120 credits)$25,000

Graduate Certificates and Diplomas

ProgramTuition fee per year
Graduate Certificate in Applied Science and Landscape Studies (one semester/60 credits)$15,000
Graduate Certificate in all other disciplines (one semester/60 credits)$13,200
Graduate Diploma in Applied Science and Landscape Studies (two semesters/120 credits)$28,600
Graduate Diploma in Resource Studies and Viticulture and Oenology (two semesters/120 credits)$27,500
Graduate Diploma in all other disciplines (two semesters/120 credits)$26,500

Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas

ProgramTuition fee per year
Certificate in Proficiency (Postgraduate per course)$5,300
Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science and Landscape Studies (one semester/60 credits)$16,400
Postgraduate Certificates in all other disciplines (one semester/60 credits)$14,200
Postgraduate Diploma in Applied ScienceAgricultural ScienceHorticultural ScienceLandscape StudiesDisaster Risk and Resilience and Water Resource Management (two semesters/120 credits)$32,800
Postgraduate Diplomas in all other disciplines (two semesters/120 credits)$28,600


ProgramTuition fee per year
Research Master’s in Commerce and Tourism (one year/120 credits)$28,600
Research Master’s in all other disciplines (one year/120 credits)$32,800
Taught Master’s (12 or 18 months/180 credits)$40,000

  Lincoln University Scholarship

Lincoln University has up to five scholarship programs for all international and local students. The university also gives out loans and grants.

8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology which is a public university has a world ranking of 865.  The University which was founded in the year 2001 has over 29,000 students on its three campuses.

The students of this University are enrolled in different programs on their three faculties. The three faculties are;

  • Culture and Society
  • Business and Law
  • Design and Creative Technologies
  • Health and Environmental Sciences
  • Te Ara Poutama.

These faculties have a lot of schools within them with amazing courses which makes them one of the best universities in New Zealand.

Auckland University of Technology Tuition fees

Tuition fees in this University are not entirely expensive as Fine art students pay NZ$329.87 per point.

You can get more information on the fees via the official website of the University.

Auckland University of Technology Scholarships

Auckland University through government, private institutions and itself offer scholarships for both local and international students that seek admission to pursue any program of their choice.

University Website

Student Visa for New Zealand

I know you may be asking, how do I get a student visa if I want to study in New Zealand? Well, we got you covered.

A student visa (or a limited visa granted for the purpose of the study) is required for all people coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months. A study must be the main purpose of your visit.

To get a student visa you have to show you will need enough money to meet your living costs during your stay except you to come on a scholarship. Be sure you know what it will cost you while you’re here studying by researching.

Your student visa will state whether it gives you the leisure of work and if it does, the limitation therein.

To get started with your student visa application please click the button below.

Student Visa Application

Conclusion on Best Universities in New Zealand

Has this article been of any assistance to you? Please let us know in the comment section.

If you have any further questions concerning studying in New Zealand, please state them in the comment section and we will attend to them immediately.

We hope you fulfill your dream of studying in any of the best universities in New Zealand. We wish you the best.

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