Tertiary sector

The New Zealand tertiary education system makes a unique and invaluable contribution to the country’s national development in all dimensions - social, economic, cultural and environmental. It provides access to a broad range of education opportunities with an increasing focus on excellence in research.

Tertiary education in New Zealand covers all post-school education from adult and community education, literacy and numeracy skills, and industry training (including New Zealand apprenticeships) to certificates and diplomas, bachelor degrees and postgraduate qualifications. These various tertiary education opportunities are delivered by many types of TEOs[1].

There are a range of government agencies concerned with tertiary education: 

  • The TEC's functions include advising on tertiary education policies and priorities. We provide Plan Guidance to TEOs that wish to receive funding, we gather and publish performance information, and we undertake reviews and consult with the sector on aspects of tertiary education.
  • The Ministry of Education advises on the Government’s Budget, leads the development of the government’s Tertiary Education Strategy and collects and publishes tertiary education statistics.
  • NZQA administers the NZQF[2] including registration of TEOs and is the body primarily responsible for quality assurance matters in the sector.
  • Careers New Zealand provide support and assistance to learners.
  • The Ministry of Social Development funds Employment Training.
  • StudyLink administers the student allowances and Student Loan Scheme.
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly the Department of Labour) provides labour market information to assist TEOs, and through Immigration New Zealand provides migrant funding for ESOL[3] programmes. 

  • [1]

    Tertiary education organisation (TEO)

  • [2]

    New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)

  • [3]

    English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

  • Last changed: 16 May 2014
  • Last verified: 16 May 2014