Our university sector is unique
New Zealand is home to eight universities of the highest quality. All are ranked in the top 3% (600) universities in the world.
New Zealand’s universities are also highly ranked by subject. Our universities rank in the world’s top 100 in 27 out of a possible 51 subjects. Individual universities appear in the top 50 for courses in Archaeology, English Language & Literature, Linguistics, Accounting and Finance, Anthropology, Development Studies, Education, Library & Information Management, Sports-related subjects, Civil & Structural Engineering, Anatomy & Physiology, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Psychology, Veterinary Science, and Geography subject areas.1
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.2
The strong reputation of New Zealand universities is the key reason 93% of our international university students choose to study in the country.3
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.
Visit the profile page for each university (see links to each on this page).
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 Pacific success.
There are 182,900 university students in New Zealand (i.e., 142,720 equivalent full-time students).4
156,900 are New Zealand students – of whom 13% are Māori (19,630) and 9% are Pacific (14,520).4
14% (26,040) are international students.4
35.5% are studying at postgraduate level.4
45,300+ graduates a year, 95% at bachelor's level and above.5
 QS World University Rankings 2023.
 Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities.
 International Barometer Survey 2017: University sector summary report. Available from Education New Zealand's IntelliLab.
 Education Counts, Tertiary Statistics, Tertiary Participation, provider-based enrolments, Ministry of Education, 2021 data (updated June 2022).
 Education Counts, Tertiary Statistics, Tertiary Achievement and Attainment, students gaining qualifications from tertiary education providers, Ministry of Education, 2021 data (updated June 2022).
Student numbers by university (2021)
Equivalent full-time students
|Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland||36,700|
|The University of Waikato||10,605|
|Te Herenga Waka –
Victoria University of Wellington
|University of Canterbury||16,210|
|University of Otago||19,565|