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Universities in Auckland, New Zealand

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The city of Auckland is based around 2 harbours on the country's North Island. You can see the silhouette of the iconic Sky Tower in the centre of this image.

Universities in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is a large-scale city located on New Zealand’s North Island with a population of nearly 1.5 million residents. Known as Tāmaki Makaurau in the local Maori language, Auckland is a welcoming city for international students and travellers; almost 40% of the city’s population is foreign-born.

Auckland showcases the best of New Zealand’s culture, high quality of living, excellent urban amenities and well-developed educational infrastructure. Auckland is New Zealand’s financial centre and is a hub for several major industries including commerce, finance and tourism.

Top Universities in Auckland

The University of Auckland

Established in 1883, the University of Auckland is considered New Zealand’s premier institute and one of the best in the Australian continent. The university is home to nearly 33,000 enrolled students, of which a large proportion – almost one third – are international students from over 120 countries. With a sizable international student community at the university, you will always have ample support for settling in during your first few months in Auckland. 

The University of Auckland offers more than 280 degree programmes across various levels and is well-known for its high graduate employability rates as well as the quality of the university’s research facilities. A few of the university’s leading research institutes include the Liggins Institute and the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. In addition to its primary campus in downtown Auckland, the university operates six additional campuses in the Auckland region, as well as a marine laboratory on the northeast coast of New Zealand. 

University of Waikato

Located two hours south of Auckland in the nearby city of Hamilton, the University of Waikato was founded in 1964. Today, the university is home to just over 10,000 enrolled students, of which nearly 3,200 are international admits. 

The University of Waikato is focused on providing a modern and forward-thinking academic experience to international students, and offers great flexibility to design your degree programme according to your preferences. In addition to its primary Hamilton campus, the university also operates an additional campus half an hour away in the city of Tauranga. The university is especially well-respected for the strength of its Management School which has achieved Triple Crown Accreditation.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

Originally established in 1895 but only recently given university status in the year 2000, the Auckland University of Technology has quickly become a world-class university with an award-winning focus on providing students with an international outlook. AUT is a large-scale university with nearly 29,000 enrolled students, of which about 6,000 are international students. 

AUT places great importance on ensuring that international students receive career support to secure post-graduation employment. The university’s employability and careers team works closely with students to develop career paths, and locate ideal internships and employment opportunities for you. The university operates across three campuses in Auckland – City, North Shore and South Auckland.

Auckland Universities World Ranking 2024

Below are the top-ranked Auckland universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2024 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2024QS Rank in New ZealandTHE Rank in New Zealand
The University of Auckland68=15011
University of Waikato250401-5005=3
Auckland University of Technology=407401-5008=3

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Auckland

Alongside the three best Auckland universities for international students, the city also offers multiple world-class institutes and universities for vocational training and subject specialisations such as technology and engineering. A few such institutes for international students in and around Auckland are:

  • Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Auckland Institute of Studies
  • New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology
  • Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design
  • Laidlaw College
  • Corey Baptist College
  • Tamaki College

Tuition and Living Costs in Auckland

According to the New Zealand Government, undergraduate degrees for international students cost between 15,000 and 22,000 US Dollars per annum. Courses are usually 3 years in length, and certain programmes such as healthcare degrees may cost slightly more.

For postgraduate degrees, international students should expect to pay between 17,000 and 25,000 US Dollars per annum. But international students pursuing PhD courses will normally need to pay around 4,500-6,000 US Dollars per annum, the same amount as domestic students.

As per the University of Auckland, international students should budget between 900-1000 US Dollars monthly for living costs. This figure includes shared accommodation costs of about 600-750 US Dollars, food expenses of 200-250 US Dollars, utilities expenses of 100 US Dollars and another 100-150 US Dollars for entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

Life in Auckland for International Students

During their time away from the classroom, international students can easily make weekend trips to explore New Zealand, considered one of the world’s most scenic countries. Flights from Auckland to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, for instance, take just an hour and a half.

Moreover, flights from Auckland to major Australian cities such as Melbourne and Sydney take about four hours, and international students in Auckland can also travel around Australia during their academic breaks. The Auckland International Airport, meanwhile, receives flights from all over the world, meaning you can comfortably travel from your hometown to an Auckland university.

The city of Auckland itself is filled with exciting cultural, historical, and outdoor venues as well as endless seaside spots to relax during your downtime. Below are a few of Auckland’s must-see spots for international students:

  • Sky Tower
  • Auckland Art Gallery
  • Auckland War Memorial
  • Auckland Zoo
  • Museum of Transport & Technology
  • Auckland Domain
  • Rainbow’s End
  • Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • Cornwall Park
  • New Zealand Maritime Museum

The top-ranked Auckland universities provide international students with an excellent opportunity to pursue a world-class degree, learn from award-winning faculty, and participate in top-quality research projects. As well as this, the tuition and living costs for top-ranked Auckland universities make them far more affordable than comparably well-ranked universities in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. The friendly and welcoming nature of New Zealand residents is an added bonus and makes studying in Auckland a very attractive option for international students.

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