New Zealand has eight universities that offer academic programmes, rather than vocational.

All New Zealand’s universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral (PhD) degrees in commerce, science and the humanities. Some universities offer degrees in specialist fields – such as medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc. A number of universities have more than one campus, often located in different cities, and some have overseas programmes.

New Zealand also has 18 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs). They provide professional and vocational education and training ranging from introductory studies through to full degree programmes. Many ITPs also offer English language training and postgraduate study options, including up to Doctoral (PhD) level. Courses are more vocationally oriented, emphasising practical experience and application to work situations. A degree from one of these institutions has equal status with a university degree.

There are three Wānanga in Aotearoa New Zealand. These tertiary institutions offer teaching and learning environments that are based on Māori values and principles. Many offer qualifications in te reo Māori (Māori language), teaching, nursing, business, health, English language and Māori arts. Wānanga offer many undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including master’s and doctoral (PhD) level qualifications.