Top 8 Universities for International Students to Attend in NZ and Our Highlights of Each One

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Here is a list of the top-rated Universities in the country for International Students to check out. This list uses the QS World Rankings list of the top 1000 Universities worldwide to provide the order, while we use our knowledge to give you information about each to help you choose one that is right for you.


1. University of Auckland – ranked 85th in the world
Unsurprisingly, NZ’s largest city is also home to the biggest University in the country, with over 40,000 students (including 7,000 international students from 120 countries) attending the University of Auckland every year. The school is in the global top 50 for 18 subjects (including business and nursing). In the big city there is plenty for students to do, with the harbour, beaches, quality cafes, rainforests and the city hub all easily accessible from the University campus.


2. University of Otago – ranked joint 175th in the world

A Uni town through and through, Dunedin’s University of Otago is the oldest educational institution in NZ, having been established almost 150 years ago in 1869. Students have ruled the roost in the city for many years now, and the city provides for a great mix of international students making the trip from overseas and Kiwi kids making the trip to the South Island from the North. Dunedin is well-known for its heritage buildings, abundant wildlife and epic nightlife.


3. Victoria University of Wellington – ranked joint 221st in the world
Situated in New Zealand’s capital city, Victoria University of Wellington is the place to be if you plan to get a job in law, government or politics. The locals say, “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day”, because when the sun comes out you quickly forget about the cold, rainy and windy days that frequent the winter. The ‘coolest little capital in the world’ has its benefits as a student town because you can walk everywhere in the small city, and there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied after classes. The University is very close to both the city-centre and nature, with forests, beaches, world-class cafes and plenty of other fun things to do a short 20 min walk away.


4. University of Canterbury – ranked joint 231st in the world
Founded in 1873 and beginning life as Canterbury college, the University of Canterbury is structured around five colleges: Arts, Business & Economics, Education, Engineering & Science and a School of Law. The city is well-advanced in its recovery from the 2011 earthquake, and the University campus is a great place to socialise. Christchurch is a great place to go if you are a fan of the outdoors, with high quality rugby teams and ski-fields nearby.


5. University of Waikato – ranked 274th in the world
With campuses in Hamilton and a new campus in Tauranga, the University of Waikato is the up and coming University of NZ. With smaller class sizes and better access to lecturers and tutors, Waikato provides a unique experience for students. Students who attend this University are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities. The Hamilton gardens, zoo and Waitomo caves are options to explore at the Hamilton campus. In Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, amazing beaches and the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal reserve are the main places to go. Both campuses offer lots of things to do when gaps in the study timetable arise!


6. Lincoln University (Christchurch) – ranked 317th in the world
The best place to go for agriculture in the country, Lincoln University is well-known, despite its proximity to Canterbury University. The University specialises in the land-based study, with Graduates often proficient in Sciences, Tourism, Business, Landscape Architecture, Property & Valuation, Foundation & Pathways, Environment or Food, Wine & Beer. Students attending the University can visit the Bert Sutcliffe oval to watch or play cricket, take a trip to Lake Ellesmere or head into town.


7. Massey University (Palmerston North) – ranked joint 332nd in the world
The University’s main hub is in Manawatu (Palmerston North) but Massey also has campuses in Auckland and Wellington. Massey is the only University in New Zealand to offer dispute resolution, aviation, nanoscience and veterinary medicine as courses. Home to the famous Manawatu Gorge, NZ Rugby Museum and Te Manawa art & science museum, Palmerston North has plenty of attractions for students to visit in their study breaks.


8. Auckland University of Technology (AUT) – ranked joint 464th in the world
AUT is consistently ranked #1 in New Zealand for International outlook (most countries represented), with over 5,400 international students from 150 countries attending. Spread across campuses in the city, Manukau and the North Shore, AUT offers over 250 courses, including the best sport science school in New Zealand (46th in the world in 2018). AUT’s students often relish the outdoors and enjoy activities such as; tramping, climbing, orienteering, kayaking, camping and mountain biking. Other attractions in close proximity to each campus location are – the Sky Tower (city campus), Rainbows End Theme Park (Manukau), Snowplanet (North Shore).


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand.
As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.