About tertiary education organisations

Mō ngā Kura Mātauranga Matua

Last updated 9 November 2021
Last updated 9 November 2021

A is any organisation that supplies tertiary education and/or training and/or assessment services.

The tertiary education sector consists of hundreds of registered TEOs, many of which we fund.

The defines the types of TEOs and the specifies the aims and expectations of TEOs.

The Crown has an ownership interest in , which include , and .

We also fund , ,  providers, secondary schools, and .

All TEOs can apply for accreditation to assess for  qualifications.

Before applying for accreditation, all TEOs must be registered with the . To view all registered providers visit the NZQA site.

Many TEOs are represented by their respective .

TES priority groups

The TES sets high expectations for TEO performance and prioritises an outcomes focus especially for industry, Māori and Pasifika learners and at risk young people.


Tertiary qualifications delivered by universities are quality assured by Universities New Zealand.

Other tertiary qualifications in New Zealand, such as those developed by TITOs or delivered by Te Pūkenga, wānanga, and PTEs, are approved and quality assured by NZQA.

Types of TEOs

Te Pūkenga (New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology)

The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (Te Pūkenga) was established on 1 April 2020. It is one of the changes announced by the Government in August 2019 as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).

Te Pūkenga brings together the existing 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) into one organisation. Some TITOs have also transitioned their arranging training functions to Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning subsidiary. Over time, Te Pūkenga will develop the capability to support work-based, campus-based and online learning as a nationally unified and integrated system.

For more detailed information, visit the Te Pūkenga website.

Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs)

TITOs co-ordinate structured training for employees, both on-job and off-job. This enables employees to gain a qualification from the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) while working and earning money.

While they are not owned or governed by the Crown, they are formally recognised by the Government. TITOs are owned by industries, and receive funding from both government and industry.

TITOs cover most of New Zealand's industries, from traditional trades (such as building and plumbing, primary industries, and manufacturing and retail) through to government and community services.

Under RoVE, the role of setting standards for vocational qualifications that can be registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) transferred in October 2021 from the TITOs to the Workforce Development Councils.

The reforms also require the TITOs to transition their arranging training functions to other providers before 31 December 2022.


There are eight universities in New Zealand, which provide an extensive range of degree and postgraduate education of international quality.

Universities' research is carried out in a broad range of fields. They engage with external stakeholders (communities, business, industry, and the research community) in the dissemination and application of knowledge and in promoting learning.
They also host the country’s .

Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara represents the country’s universities.


New Zealand’s three wānanga provide quality education using Māori ways of teaching and learning; contributing towards the survival and well-being of Māori as a people.

Wānanga also have a continuing role to play in re-engaging learners into education.

Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga represents the country’s wānanga.

Private training establishments

PTEs deliver foundation level programmes and qualifications, up to higher level post-graduate qualifications, depending on their educational subject areas. PTEs are diverse in terms of mission, scale of operation, location, culture and educational subject area.

They are flexible in responding to government policy settings and the wide ranging needs of learners, industry, employers, local communities, Māori and Pasifika peoples and other stakeholders.

PTEs that are registered with the NZQA are eligible to receive funding through the TEC.

A PTE may be a privately owned or publically listed company, a trust, an incorporated society, or other such entity, that offers post-school education or vocational training.


As well as secondary education, many state and integrated secondary schools also offer tertiary education services. These include programmes such as and designed to support the transition from school to the workplace. Some schools also provide workplace literacy, intensive literacy and numeracy provision, and programmes.

Rural education activities programmes

Rural education activities programme providers (REAPs) facilitate education for rural communities. There are 13 REAPs around the country, providing a wide range of educational programmes for adults living in rural areas.

Community education providers

There are many providers (CEPs) around the country that provide tertiary education to a wide range of learners. These organisations have a variety of structures and connections within their communities to other TEOs.