Study-in-New-Zealand-mobile

Best Universities in New Zealand for International Students

Last updated: 18 December 2023 NZ University Rankings Study in New Zealand

Why do so many international students choose to study in New Zealand? New Zealand offers a high-quality education system recognised worldwide, and the country has reputed universities and institutes consistently ranking highly in international rankings.

New Zealand universities offer a wide range of courses in different disciplines so that students can explore extensive opportunities for research and study, and as the cost of studying abroad in New Zealand is low compared to other countries, you can also make long-term savings, which will help during and after study.

To learn more about why studying in New Zealand can be a perfect place to boost your career, enquire today with SI-New Zealand.

best universities in new zealand

Top Universities in New Zealand 2024

Here is the list of the best universities in New Zealand as per the QS World University Rankings 2024:

1. The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is a public research university established in 1883 and is New Zealand’s largest university by enrollment. It gathers around 7426 international students with a student-faculty ratio of 61:7. With an acceptance rate of 45% and 68th rank in the QS World Ranking 2024, the UoA believes in achieving equity in employment and education, making it New Zealand’s leading place to work and study.

Acceptance rate

45%

Top courses offered

Law, business, engineering, and medical

Eligibility criteria

IELTS 6.5| UCAT 1200-3600 (medical)|, TOEFL UG - 80

Number of international students

7,426

Top scholarships offered

ASEAN High Achievers Scholarship, India High Achievers Scholarship

2. University of Otago

The University of Otago, founded in 1869, is one of the oldest universities in Oceania. The public research university gathers around 1,400 international students each year with a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. With an acceptance rate of 58% and 206th in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and 1st in New Zealand, the university aims to preserve, create, and apply knowledge, critical thinking, and independence to enhance understanding and development of individuals and communities. 

Acceptance rate

58%

Top courses offered

Human sciences, law, and business

Eligibility criteria

IELTS-6 | TOEFL UG-80

Number of international students

3,000

Top scholarships offered

NG Stewart Scholarship, The Sophia McMillan Crestani Memorial University Scholarship

3. Massey University

Massey University is a public research university established in 1927 in Palmerston North, Auckland, Wellington, New Zealand. The university gathers around 5000 international students with a student-faculty ratio of 10:1. With an acceptance rate of 65% and 239th in the QS World University Rankings 2024; the university aims to create a supportive and inclusive environment for you to succeed and thrive in every moment. 

Acceptance rate

65%

Top courses offered

Biology, Environmental science, Liberal arts, and social sciences

Eligibility criteria

GPA 2.75 (on a 4.00 scale), IELTS 6+, and TOEFL- 80

Number of international students

5,000

Top scholarships offered

Edna Waddell Undergraduate Scholarships for Women in Technology and Engineering, and Allan Kay Undergraduate Memorial Scholarship

4. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington is a public research university established in 1897 in Wellington, New Zealand. The university gathers around 3,000 international students each academic year and has a 75.3% student satisfaction rate. Victoria University Wellington consistently ranks among the top 300 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and performs well in subject rankings for development studies, law and politics, and international studies.

Acceptance rate

64%

Top courses offered

Legal and law studies, English language and literature, Library and information, and psychology

Eligibility criteria

IELTS 6+, CAE -169, TOEFL -67+, High School - 65%

Number of international students

3,400

Top scholarships offered

Tongrewa Scholarship for Excellence and Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarship

5. University of Waikato

The University of Waikato is one of the top universities in New Zealand, established in 1964. It has two campuses located in Hamilton and Tauranga. The university stands proudly worldwide as a future-focused, international education provider and an active player in global research. With an acceptance rate of 72%, the university ranks 250th in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and is the #1 in New Zealand for research. With around 13,000 students and 1500 staff members, the University of Waikato is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio.

Acceptance rate

72%

Top courses offered

Biochemistry, geology, and software engineering

Eligibility criteria

High school- 85%, TOEFL-80 and IELTS -6

Number of international students

2,000

Top scholarships offered

University of Waikato International Entrance Scholarships for school leavers

6. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is a public research university established in 1873 in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s second-oldest university after the University of Otago. The university is known for its engineering and science course programs, with its civil engineering, fine arts, law and social work courses ranking well in world subject rankings. With an acceptance rate of 50%, the university prepares students to find their best career path and change their lives.

Acceptance rate

50%

Top courses offered

Science, commerce, arts, and criminal justice

Eligibility criteria

Mathematics at AS Level, TOEFL-80, and IELTS -6

Number of international students

4,500

Top scholarships offered

Ah Nua Scholarship

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University (NZ) was established in 1990 in Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand. It is a top public university and is considered one of the best universities in New Zealand for international students. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture, arts and humanities, business and management and life sciences.

Acceptance rate

60%

Top courses offered

Agriculture, business, finance, and archaeology

Eligibility criteria 

IELTS 6.5+, TOEFL-80, High School (English)- 75%

Total number of international students

3,000

Scholarships 

International student merit scholarship

8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology was established in 2000 and is the second-largest university in New Zealand. The university is located in Auckland, New Zealand, and has received five-star ratings for teaching, employability, research, internationalisation, facilities, innovation, and inclusiveness. AUT has consistently ranked first in New Zealand and 407th in the QS World University Rankings 2024, with around 5000 industry partners worldwide. With an acceptance rate of 50%, the university’s mission is to prepare and create graduates for the rapidly changing world.

Acceptance rate

50%

Top courses offered

Business, communication studies, health science, and hospitality management

Eligibility criteria

High school- 75%, IELTS - 6+, and TOEFL -80

Total number of international students

5,000

Top scholarships offered

International Scholarship - South Asia

Eligibility Criteria

For undergraduate courses

For postgraduate courses

For MBA courses

Documents Required

To study in New Zealand, you must fulfil specific requirements to become an eligible candidate. Here are some essential eligibility criteria apart from academics

Apply to Study in New Zealand

To learn more about studying in New Zealand, how to begin your application, or what course is right for you, contact SI-New Zealand today for a free consultation.

Universities featured in this article:

  • University of Otago
  • Massey University
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Waikato
  • University of Canterbury
  • Lincoln University
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • University of Auckland
Back to Study Guide

"SI-New Zealand helped me successfully apply to study business in New Zealand and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Isabella Ramos Business and Management

Isabella Ramos