Back to top

Our university sector is unique

  • New Zealand is home to eight universities of the highest quality. All are ranked in the top 3% (500) universities in the world.
  • New Zealand’s universities are also highly ranked by subject. They are ranked within the top 50 universities in the world in 22 different subjects, and in the top 100 in 39 (out of a possible 46) subjects.
  • New Zealand graduates enjoy some of the best graduate outcomes in the world – with high completion and employment rates, and low rates of under-employment. Read more on graduate outcomes.
  • New Zealand universities have a robust and multi-layered quality assurance system, which ensures programmes, teaching and learning are of a very high standard.
  • The strong reputation of New Zealand universities is the key reason why 93% of our international university students chose to study in NZ.
  • Seven of our universities are comprehensive universities, offering a broad range of subjects including arts, sciences, commerce, engineering, and health sciences. Lincoln University is a specialist land-based university.
  • Read more Key Facts & Stats about New Zealand’s universities.
  • Visit the profile page for each university (see links on this page to each).
  • Read how New Zealand universities are growing the economy, driving research and innovation, efficient and effective, delivering quality teaching and learning, enriching knowledge and understanding, and building Māori and Pasifika success.

University demographics

  • there are a total of 172,000 university students in New Zealand (ie 131,770 full-time equivalent students)
  • 146,000 are New Zealand students - of whom 11% are Māori (16,200), 8% are Pasifika students (11,400 Pasifika)
  • 15% are international students (26,000)
  • 29% are studying at postgraduate level
  • over 43,000+ graduates a year, 90% at bachelors level and above

Demographics by university (2015)

FTEs = Full-time equivalents

University          Students   Staff             
University of Auckland                33,475              5,075
Auckland University of Technology (AUT)                 19,605             2,349
University of  Waikato                  9,970             1,510
Massey University                18,665              3,115
Victoria University of Wellington                17,025             2,073
University of Canterbury                11,865             1,866
Lincoln University                  2,770                682
University of Otago                18,395              3,803
Total             131,770            20,473