NZQA's role in the education sector is to ensure that New Zealand qualifications are regarded as credible and robust, nationally and internationally, in order to help learners succeed in their chosen endeavours and to contribute to New Zealand society.

NZQA is responsible for:

  • managing the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • administering the secondary school assessment system
  • independent quality assurance of non-university education providers
  • qualifications recognition and standard-setting for some specified unit standards

International Students in New Zealand High Schools

If you are an international high school student looking to further your education at a New Zealand Institute of Technology or Polytechnic, you will need to provide us with the minimum English Language Requirement as stated on your programme regulations.

International Students with Qualifications gained outside New Zealand

If you are applying to a New Zealand Institute of Technology or Polytechnic on the basis of a qualification gained outside of New Zealand, you can use your official results from one of the following to meet the English Language Requirement.


  • The preferred English Test for most of Unitec’s qualifications
  • Please see the table below for the minimum IELTS score you need for Unitec qualifications

Unitec English Language Programmes

  • Unitec’s English language programmes will improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. From elementary to advanced English speakers, you can study English as a second language at different levels.

Qualifications taught and assessed in English

  • You will need to complete all primary education and at least three years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand primary school years 1 to 8 and within secondary school years  9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction OR
  • completion of at least five years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand years 9 to 13) at schools using English as the language of instruction.

Please note: The information above a general guideline only, the final requirements would be advised by the Unitec Student Advisor Team.

Admission Requirements Policy

English Language Entry Requirements for International Students for whom English is not their First language2:

English Language Requirements Table
English Language Requirements Table