The eight universities in New Zealand and a number of other institutions run a wide variety of programmes at different levels in diverse disciplines.

New Zealand is an island country in the Pacific Ocean, nearly 2,200 km south-east of Australia. Its area is about twice that of Tamil Nadu, but the population is only about 7 per cent of that State.

New Zealand is a developed country, with a sound educational system that maintains quality and international reputation. There are eight universities and a number of other institutions running a wide variety of programmes at different levels in diverse disciplines. Students from many countries consider New Zealand a desirable destination for higher education. The current number of overseas students is 80,000, out of which 6,000 are Indians, whose number is growing fast.

The academic year in New Zealand universities begins in February-March and ends in October-November. You may start your application and enrolment process well in advance, so that you get plenty of time to arrange visas and satisfy other formalities. The academic year is split into two semesters, with a four-week break in June-July. There are provisions for mid-year admissions. A usual pattern is shown below:

Semester 1: (February-June): Closing date for applications will be October 31

Semester 2: (July-November): Closing date will be April 30.

There may be slight differences in the application deadlines of different universities.

Arranging your accommodation may not be usually difficult. Your institution normally helps you find it. Halls of residences or hostels close to the campus or home-stay units will be convenient. If you go for renting a house, you may have to pay for furnishing, heating and electricity.

Undergraduate study costs may be around NZ$18,000 (about Rs.6 lakh) to 25,000 (about Rs.8.75 lakh) a year, depending on your course. Postgraduate courses may cost up to NZ$20,000 (about Rs.7 lakh) to 40,000 (Rs.14 lakh) a year.

New Zealand has long-range plans for promoting international students. There are universities, polytechnics, government-funded and private training establishments and English language schools. There are 20 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics that provide professional and vocational education and training up to the degree level.

The New Zealand universities enjoy a good reputation in teaching and research. Auckland University, for example, has been rated among the first 50 universities in the world. The universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduate, Master’s and doctoral degrees in commerce, science, technology and humanities. The curriculum offers flexibility in the choice of papers, unlike in many Indian universities.

Each university is a public institution and part-funded (around 50 per cent of the income) by the government. No university is privately owned.

The universities provide several scholarships. Students enrolled in full degree courses are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during the academic year (February-November). They may work fulltime during the summer holidays (November-February), subject to regulations. Information on most aspects of higher studies in New Zealand is available on the official web site www.newzealandeducated.com. The course search/locator on the site gives easy access to information based on the level and type of study, discipline or subject, location, institution type and course duration. Further, you can contact the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s International Division by e-mailing international.unit@minedu.govt.nz. The International Education division has a policy and liaison team based in several centres, such as New Delhi.

If you want to contact the High Commission, you may use the address: New Zealand High Commission, Sir Edmund Hillary Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021 (ph: 011 2688 3170; e-mail: newzealandhc@bol.net.in). The Honorary Consul for New Zealand in Chennai can be reached on ph: 044 2811 2472, ext 21; e-mail: r.ramesh@rane.co.in)

Indian students have some anxieties on personal safety and security in certain countries. The New Zealand Ministry of Education operates a Code of Practice designed for the pastoral care of international students. It takes care of housing and accommodation, pastoral and personal care and grievances.

More on universities

 University of Auckland: Opened in 1883, it is now the largest university in the country, with nearly 40,000 students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, out of which 13 per cent are from overseas. The university enjoys the highest international ranking among the universities in New Zealand. It focusses well on research activities.

There are fine programmes in the disciplines of social sciences, arts and humanities, life sciences and biomedicine, engineering and natural sciences. The university is located close to New Zealand’s major business city. (Ph: + 64 9 373 7999; web site: www.auckland.ac.nz; e-mail: studentinfo@auckland. ac.nz)

 University of Canterbury: The university is noted for arts, sciences, commerce, engineering and law. It has authorised representatives in various Indian cities. (Ph: +64 3 364 2459; e-mail: international@canterbury.ac.nz; comprehensive information given on www.canterbury.ac.nz/ intstud)

 Massey University: It offers engineering, IT, sciences, agriculture, veterinary science, education and so on. (Ph: +64 6 350 5701; e-mail: contact@massey.ac.nz; Web site: www.massey.ac.nz)

 University of Otago: The institution was established in 1869. Commerce, health sciences, humanities and sciences are offered in general. There is facility for a wide variety of courses. For example, under ‘health sciences,’ you have subjects such as acupuncture, aviation medicine, biomaterials science, child psychotherapy, forensic biology, gerontology nutrition, industrial health, medical radiation therapy, paediatric dentistry and sport and exercise medicine. The university is noted for specialisation in different branches of dental surgery. (Ph: + 64 3 479 7000; e-mail: university@otago.ac.nz; web site: www.otago.ac.nz)

 Victoria University of Wellington: The university is situated in the capital city across four campuses. A wide variety of subjects, such as the English language, media, sciences, engineering and humanities, are on offer, with good opportunities for scholarships. (Ph: +64 4 472 1000; e-mail: info-desk@vuw.ac.nz; web site: www.vuw.ac.nz)

 University of Waikato: It is based in the river city of Hamilton, with a satellite campus in Tauranga. Arts, business administration, computer graphics, engineering, sciences and many other disciplines are on offer. More than 2,000 students drawn from 70 countries study there. (Ph: +64 7 838 4610; e-mail: info@waikato.ac.nz; web site: www.waikato.ac.nz)

 Lincoln University: The university focuses on areas related to land and natural resource management, applied commerce, agricultural and life sciences and industry relevant programmes. (Ph: +64 3 325 2811; e-mail: info@lincoln.ac.nz; web site: www.lincoln.ac.nz)

 Auckland University of Technology: The newest university in New Zealand. It was established in 2000. Areas of focus are design and creative technologies, applied humanities, business and law, and health and environmental sciences. (Ph: +64 9 921 9618; e-mail: international.centre@aut.ac.nz; web site: www.aut.ac.nz)

These are indicative. You have to gather specific details, keeping in mind your discipline and specialisation, type and duration of programme desired and so on.