Education in New Zealand

The education system in New Zealand is a three-tier model which includes primary and intermediate schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and polytechnics. The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from early February until mid-December for primary schools, late January to late November or early December for secondary schools and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.

Education in New Zealand
Ministry of Education / Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga
Minister of EducationChris Hipkins
National education budget (2014/15)
BudgetNZ$13,183 million
General details
Primary languagesEnglish, Māori
System typeDecentralised national
Enrollment (July 2011[1])
Total762,683
Primary475,797
Secondary286,886
Attainment (2015)
Secondary diploma88%[2]

In 2009, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ranked New Zealand 7th best at science and reading in the world, and 13th in maths.[3][needs update] The Education Index, published as part of the UN's Human Development Index consistently ranks New Zealand among the highest in the world.[4] Following a general knowledge survey, a report is set to be released in 2020 to discover whether or not New Zealand's education curriculum is fit for purpose.[5]

The Human Rights Measurement Initiative[6] finds that New Zealand is doing 85.4% of what should be possible at its level of income for the right to education.[7]


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