Polytechnics in New Zealand- What and where to study?
Updated on Nov 4, 2015 - 3:50 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das #New Zealand
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Polytechnics in New Zealand
- With around 13,000 international students enrolled in its Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), New Zealand is one of the emerging attractive destinations for students who want to explore vocational studies abroad. In fact, a vast number of overseas students studying in the country are primarily engaged with the polytechnics; second only to the Private Training Establishments (PTE). Here,  we present a know how about the polytechnics in New Zealand and the most popular ITPs.

Why opt for Polytechnics in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers a wide range of choices for students to study around the country. Two of the major advantages are that these institutes provide skill based training in specific fields and at a cost lower than most of the universities. According to a survey by the New Zealand government on the satisfaction of international students in New Zealand ITPs, 85% of the respondents studying in ITPs are very satisfied with the learning culture in the polytechnics of the country. The learning culture includes learning facilities (online and physical) and opportunities to explore other cultures.

Here are some of the top polytechnics in New Zealand:

Otago Polytechnic:

One of the most widely known polytechnics in New Zealand, the Otago Polytechnic boasts of a high concentration of international students in its three campuses- Dunedin, Cromwell and Auckland. The institute offers over 100 programmes across certificate, foundation and Postgraduate levels. The Otago Polytechnic has performed consistently in the polytechnic education sector with the New Zealand Government’s Tertiary Education Commission ranking it a leader in most of the fields relating to student achievement.

Duration: UG degrees are 3 years, diplomas are 2 years and certificates are 1 year. PG courses can take 1 to 2 years to complete.

Courses on offer:

  • Health, Community & Education

  • Creative

  • Hospitality

  • Business, Tourism and IT

  • Trades and Technical

  • Sport and Adventure

  • Natural Sciences

Admission checklist:

Secondary school qualification equivalent to New Zealand’s National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Aspirants should have at least 55% in 4 subjects with 60% in English for certificate and diploma programmes and 70% with 60% in English for Bachelor’s courses.

Besides the above, candidates also have to show proof of English language proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL score.

Fees: The average tuition fee is between NZD$16,000-$20,000


Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT)

One of the largest vocational institutes in New Zealand, the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology or CPIT offers more than 150 qualifications, including graduate diplomas and degrees, and attracts students from over 50 countries. CPIT also has the only school for radio journalism and communication in New Zealand - the School of Broadcasting.

Courses on offer:

  • Architectural studies

  • Art and Design

  • Business

  • Broadcasting and Media

  • Computing and ICT

  • Engineering

  • Food and Hospitality

  • Health

  • International languages

  • Performance

  • Outdoor Education

  • Science

Duration: Undergraduate courses are offered for 2-3 years while graduate, diploma and certificate courses are available for 1- 2 years full time. Part time courses can extend to 4 years.

Admission checklist:

For diploma level courses, aspirants require at least 60% at the senior secondary level to qualify and for degree level courses students need minimum 75%.

Besides, international students also have to show proof of English proficiency through IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge ESOL, PTE, among others.

Fees: While the fees vary across courses, the range is between $17,000 and $21,000.


The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

With over 30,000 enrolled in its various programmes, the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is one of the most popular polytechnics in New Zealand. It is a government owned institution and offers over 1200 courses starting from certificates to diploma and mainstream degree programmes. The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand offers both technical and vocational training courses at its campus. While, the polytechnic provides both full time and open and distance programmes to students, majority of the students pursue part time courses. The institute is best known among international students for vocational training courses enabled through their employers.


  • School of Business

  • School of Commerce and Enterprise

  • School of Education Studies

  • School of Engineering, Trades and Construction

  • School of Science and Technology

  • School of Health and Community

  • School of Social Sciences

Duration: Certificate courses can be 1- 2 years while degree courses can go upto 3-4 years.


Admission checklist:

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand does not accept international students on a Students Visa. Rather, the student needs a valid work permit to study part time and should be enrolled in a programme authorized by their employer.

Aspirants are also required to submit IELTS, Cambridge ESOL and NZCEL score as proof of English proficiency.

Fees: Being a fully government owned institution; the fees are highly subsided compared to other institutions. The average fee ranges from $4,000 to $15,000, depending on the courses.


Eastern Institute of Technology:

With three campuses in Napier, Gisborne and Auckland, the Eastern Institute of Technology is one of the popular polytechnics enrolling international students in New Zealand. The Eastern Institute of Technology has students from over 40 countries and 440 of the students are international out of the total 10,000. The institute’s main focus is on vocational training and boasts of a 16:1 student-faculty ratio.

Courses on offer:

  • Agriculture

  • Arts and Design

  • Beauty and Body

  • Business

  • Community Health

  • Computing

  • Creative Industries

  • Education

  • English Language

  • Fashion

  • Forestry

  • Health Professions

  • International

  • Hairdressing

  • Horticulture

  • Wine Science and Viticulture

  • Health & Sport Science

  • Hospitality

Duration: The duration for the certificate courses is 1 year, while for diploma courses, it can be between 1-2 years. The duration for Bachelor’s can be between 3-4 years and that for Masters is 1.5 -2 years.


Admission checklist:

Aspirants have to be 18 years or older for admission to the Eastern Institute of Technology. Students can download the application form and email it to the institute after completing it. A senior secondary certificate is essential for Bachelor’s and an undergraduate certificate is required for admission to graduate courses. Most of the programmes in the Eastern Institute of Technology accept IELTS score with a score band of average 6 and not less than 5.5.

Fees: The fee range starts at $6000 for certificate courses and can go upto $10,000. For degree programmes, the fee can go upto $21,000 annually.


Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec):

Commonly known as Wintec, the Waikato Institute of Technology is one the leading polytechnics in New Zealand in the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) sector. Over 20,000 students in Wintec are represented by over 52 countries. The institute has three main campus- Hamilton, Rotokauri and Hamilton Gardens.

Courses on offer:

  • Business

  • Information Technology

  • Applied Science & Primary Industries

  • Education

  • Engineering & Built Environment

  • Trades

  • Sport Science & Human Performance

  • Hospitality

  • Hair & Beauty

  • Media Arts

  • Health & Social Practice

  • English


The certificate programmes, usually, lasts for 6 months to one year while UG degree programmes lasts for 3-4 years. Graduate programmes can be completed within 2 years.

Admission checklist:

International students have to fill up a separate application form and mail the completed form to the university. Aspirants vying for diploma seats have to secure at least 50% in their senior secondary while aspirants vying for degree level seats have to secure 65%. Students also have to show proof of English proficiency with an average IELTS score of 6 in band score.

Fees: While the fees depend on the student’s course of study, the tuition fees for the certificate programmes are around $8,000. The fees are upwards $17,000 for both diploma and degree granting courses.

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Questions related to New Zealand

Showing 2 out of 2 Questions

why choose new Zealand for study?

dheeraj reddy 15th Feb, 2020
Well, Studying in NZ is cheaper than US and several European countries. Also a lot of scholarship opportunities are available to fund your study. University of Auckland is among the top 100 universities in the world.
NZ has some most livable cities in the world: Auckland, Wellington to name a few. Also one of the safest country to live.
Part-time job opportunities are plenty for international students through which you could recover the cost of your living expenses.
NZ is easier country to immigrate if your plan is to settle abroad. Add beautiful landscapes as another reason to ;)
As far as job opportunities are considered, NZ is a small country and offer limited work opportunities for internationals. Even though few employers might prefer locals ,as there is a lack of skilled professionals they are open to all, it would be upon you to sell yourself well.

Further research about work opportunities according to your field of interest and chose the best country accordingly. Goodluck !

Does GRE ,TOFEL &IELTS are mandatory for postgraduate courses or any one of the above?

Apoorva Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019

Hello dear student,

As it seems like you want to take admission in New Zealand. so dear student it depends in which university you want to take admission in , so different universities asks for the different exam .They all have  their own criteria to take students for MS in their university. So maximum universities asks for GRE marks while few asks for the other test scores.  GRE though not too popular, GRE is required for admission to masters courses in some of the universities in New Zealand.  GMAT: While NZ, just like Australia puts more emphasis on work experience, GMAT is still accepted for admission to management courses in its business schools.

i hope it was helpful.

Best wishes

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