For language schools, you may be able to enrol as late as a month before the course commences, but you might not be able to get a timely visa. It is best to start the application and enrolment process as early as you can.
For tertiary institutions and secondary schools, which all begin early in the year, you will need to start the application process part way through the previous year. The institution’s deadlines will probably be in about November, but check carefully because it depends on the specific course.
You need to allow time to get documents copied and the copies certified, and to have certified translations made by a registered translation agency, if required. If your qualifications have to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, this takes eight weeks (in simple cases).
If you are applying through an agency, the deadline for completing your application may be earlier than the institution’s deadline.
If you meet the academic requirements for a programme and get your application in before the deadline, it is likely that you will be accepted.
See Application Procedures and Commencement Dates.
The criteria for entry to tertiary study vary, depending on the institution. In general, if you are under 21, you will need to provide:
- Evidence of your English Proficiency
- Evidence of your suitability to study at this level.
- The institution will advise you if it wants you to have your qualification assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This costs NZ$450 and takes up to eight weeks.
Recognition of Prior Learning
If you do not meet one of these criteria, you may be eligible for admission if the institution is satisfied that you are able to meet the demands of the course. Assessment is based on educational qualifications, life experience and work experience. This is called RPL (Recognition of prior learning).