Comparison of Education System in New Zealand with other OECD Countries

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Comparison of Education System in New Zealand with other OECD Countries

October 8, 2015  1:38 PM

New Zealand offers world-class, modern and responsive education. It combines proven, traditional principles with innovation and creativity.

Education in New Zealand is student-centered, focused on supporting students to problem solving, process information, and team work, so that each student is able to develop their potential along a number of pathways. In the past two decades, all aspects of education in New Zealand have undergone a major transformation, which includes curriculum, assessment, qualifications, teaching methodologies, and pedagogies.

Few Facts:

  • “New-Zealand is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system”, according to the 2013 Better Life index
  • First in world for education and fifth most prosperous country according to London-based think tank, The Legatum Institute
  • First for Best Country for Business by Forbes
  • Ranked least corrupt nation in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)
  • Third most at peace country according to the Global Peace Index
  • Confirmed as one of the world’s most innovative nations in the 2013 “Global Innovation Index” ranking 17 out of 142 countries

All New Zealand universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral (PhD) degrees in commerce, science and the humanities. A number of universities have more than one campus, are often located in different cities, and many have overseas programmes, usually in partnership with an offshore provider, as a base for delivery of courses. A range of programmes are also delivered online.

New Zealand has a strong quality assurance system which ensures consistent, high standards of both teaching and research across all the universities.

What makes New Zealand’s education system better, when compared to other OECD countries?

  • New Zealand’s investment in education is below the OECD average in per student terms, yet forms an above average share of GDP
  • Each is a public institution and part-funded (around 50 per cent of total income) by the Government. There are no privately owned universities
  • A performance-based funding system encourages and rewards research that is of the highest quality and relevant to contemporary needs
  • Universities work closely with the business community in New Zealand and overseas, to involve students in leading-edge research and development
  • Faculties of Education within universities are closely involved with the wider education system in New Zealand and internationally, and carry out the majority of research underpinning policies and practice in New Zealand schools and early childhood centers
  • Each university is autonomous (independently managed and governed) by its own council drawn from the community, business, staff and the student body, together with local and central government representatives
  • All universities offer general degrees with a large choice of subjects but each also has strengths in specialized professional degrees
  • Universities combine large-group, lecture-style teaching with small group tutorials, discussions, laboratory and field practice for an effective teaching


New Zealand has strong international education connections and recognition. There is considerable international interest in New Zealand’s achievements in education – its educators’ expertise and experience, and educational services and products, are sought after around the world.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. For any comments / suggestions, please write to us. We would love to hear from you.


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