Engineering in New Zealand: How much does it cost?
Updated on Apr 25, 2016 - 2:52 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti
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Engineering in New Zealand

One needn’t have to try hard to find arguments to study in New Zealand, because there are many convincing ones.  To begin with, New Zealand has more than a half dozen universally-ranked universities offering courses that aren’t only up-to-date and practical but unique in many ways. Also, the small class size, typical of most universities in New Zealand, is built for hands-on education.Many students come to New Zealand because the tuition fee is amongst the lowest in the world, or may be because they want to take advantage of the abundant work opportunities that are on offer.


If you are planning to study in New Zealand, or for that matter engineering, the above virtues will definitely impress you. 


All eight NZ universities are listed in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16


Studying engineering in New Zealand! You can pick a university at random and yet chances are things won’t go wrong. Universities like AUT use cutting-edge technology and universally-acclaimed faculty to impart great skills and technical and theoretical knowhow to students so that they can go out and chart their own success stories across the world. But while quality is an assured commodity at universities in the country, students want to know about the cost of studying engineering in New Zealand, like whether there is a substantial difference in tuition fee between the universities.


Engineering in New Zealand: Tuition Fees

If someone enquires us about the cost of studying engineering in New Zealand, naturally our mind goes to the tuition fee of the program, which probably has to do with the fact that tuition fee makes up the bulk of the study-abroad expenses. Now while all the eight universities are listed in the QS list, there is some discernable difference in tuition fee between these universities, though it may not be that steep.


Like in the undergraduate level, the University of Auckland charges an annual tuition fee of NZ$40,633, while the University of Canterbury has a fee range of NZ$29,100- $38,900 for different engineering specializations.


Meanwhile, Auckland University of Technology (NZ$34,910) and Massey University (NZ$31,410 - $34,590) find themselves locked in a close battle regarding tuition fee. 


Besides these two universities, there are Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago and University of Waikato where tuition fee is in the range of NZ$27,700 - NZ$31,439 making them the cheapest options available. Generally speaking, universities with low tuition fees would certinly lower cost of studying engineering in New Zealand, but it shouldn’t be the only criteria for selecting a university. The city where the university is located can be a good reason in itself whether to pick or reject a university. After all, these days the concept of student cities is gaining momentum and students want holistic development instead of being bogged down by only academic concerns.


Engineering Fee at top universities in New Zealand


QS Ranking

Annual Tuition fee



The University of Auckland



NZ$37,025 (Engineering); NZ$45,512 (Engineering  -geothermal energy courses)

University of Otago




University of Canterbury


NZ$29,100- $38,900

$35,600- $36,480

Victoria University of Wellington




Massey University


NZ$31,410 - $34,590

NZ$ 34,590

University of Waikato



$33,310 (Engineering -Master’s Thesis); $34,430 (Engineering – Postgraduate)

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)




Engineering in New Zealand: Cost of living

Moving on from tuition fee, the next item on our list is living cost. Now while you can easily budget for tuition fee, figuring out the cost of living isn’t so easy. Also, how your living expenses look like will depend largely on the choices you make, and not on some external stimuli, like you may choose between renting flats, homestay or hall of residence as your accommodation. You can opt to go for a movie or opt out; use public transport to commute to your university, get a pillion ride on your friend’s bike or, have your own private vehicle.  Now change any of these variables, and you will get a completely different picture of cost of living. Generally, it is advisable for students, though, to use every means they can adopt to keep a tight leash on cost of studying in New Zealand under, without affecting their studies. 

Living cost for international studnets in New Zealand:


Hall of residence















Mobile phone
















Weekly cost (total)




In addition to the expenses mentioned in the above chart, there are additional one-off expenses, including around $500 and $1000 on books and another $600 - $900 on clothing. Students in New Zealand are also expected to pay one-off placement fee which facilitates them to find the correct host family. All these additional costs add up to around $1660-$2460.

Additional one-off expenses

One off placement fee


Books and stationery

$500 - $1000




$600 - $900



Contribution of insurance fee to cost of studying engineering in New Zealand

Health insurance is required for admission into universities in New Zealand. But unlike most other academic destinations, universities in New Zealand have designed their own collaborative health insurance plan, Studentsafe-University. A group insurance plan, it is valid for the entire duration of the student’s study program, and costs around $600.

Annual premiums of Studentsafe-University study abroad health insurance:


2014 Annual Premiums

2015 Annual Premiums


NZ$585 per year

NZ$590 per year

Couple (student + 1)

NZ$1,170 per year

NZ$1,180 per year

Family (student + 2 or more)

NZ$1,460 per year

NZ$1,475 per year

Study Abroad (one semester)



Engineering fee in NZ normally includes the premium for the Studentsafe-University, and students don’t have to fill a separate application form for availing the benefits of Studentsafe-University, as the premium is included in the tuition fee itself. You are, however, permitted to opt out of this plan and instead go for a private plan of your choice; the only condition being the private plan must provide comparable coverage.


As for travel insurance, you will be covered by the university’s travel plan for all study-related travel and don’t have to pay any extra money.


Engineering in New Zealand: Expenses related to admission requirements:

Exam-related expenses are at many times overlooked, but they also make a difference in the final analysis when calculating the overall cost of studying engineering in New Zealand. English language proficiency tests like TOEFL and IELTS cost US $170. If you don’t account for these small expenses, their accumulated value can stump you. So better to be prepared than to be sorry!


Stay tuned to for more stories on New Zealand


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