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New Zealand has many providers offering a broad range of courses at tertiary level, including Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees including at post-graduate level.

Acceptance of international students into these programmes requires evidence of English language proficiency, and there is a variety of ways in which students can demonstrate their proficiency in English for further study in New Zealand.

English Language Requirements for entry to different levels of study in New Zealand
The level of English required depends on the type of course and level of tertiary study. Some courses may have different requirements, and you should check with the provider, but the Appendix on the NZQA website gives a general indication for each English language exam/qualification for each level of study.

Ways to demonstrate English Language Proficiency
Many students take an internationally recognised examination to prove their English language level meets the entry requirement, and English New Zealand member schools offer courses that prepare students for IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge, OET, Pearson (PTE) and Language Cert, for example.

Some member schools also offer the New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL), a non-examination pathway, at Levels 4 and 5 to prepare students for further study.

University English language centres offer non-exam pathways into their undergraduate and postgraduate courses on successful completion of English for Academic Purposes courses, and the English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment (APA) is also an option for further study at university level.

What is the APA?
English New Zealand has a Memorandum of Understanding with Universities New Zealand allowing the Accredited Pathway Assessment (APA) to be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency at all eight universities in New Zealand. The APA must be part of an English for Academic Purposes course at a provider accredited to offer this option.

Where can I complete an APA?
Languages International is currently our APA approved member, and you can access the APA as part of their English for University (EU) Higher course (12 weeks full time).

What level of English do I need to enrol in this course?
You’ll need to have at least an intermediate level of English to enrol in this course. If you’re not sure if you’re ready, find out by completing one of the internationally recognised English language tests. You’ll need to score at least the following equivalence to enrol in the EU Higher course:

  • IELTS 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT 46
  • PTE 42

If your English is not yet at this level, you can complete a General English course/an EU Intermediate course. Once you successfully complete this course you can then enrol into the EU Higher course.

I have successfully completed an APA, what now?
You’re now ready to jump into further tertiary studies. Once you start the application process for your selected course of study, you’ll also need to submit an APA certificate.

Not sure what tertiary education provider is right for your further studies in New Zealand?
Choosing a tertiary education provider can be a daunting task. Your choice will usually be determined by what you want to study, the level you want to study at, and where you want to live in New Zealand. If there are multiple education providers offering papers on the same subject, then consider listing the characteristics that each location offers and work through that list. If you have the opportunity, visit the campus before committing. You can also ask the registration staff questions about why you choose their institution for your study. Rest assured, New Zealand providers offer excellent facilities and teaching standards. When you’re ready to make your decision, you’ll be on track to complete your studies at a world class tertiary institution.  

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