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Universities in Wellington, New Zealand

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New Zealand is known for striking scenery and the city of Wellington is certainly no exception.

Universities in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and is situated on the country’s North Island. With a population of just under 220,000 residents, Wellington is a charming beachfront city with high-quality urban infrastructure, a welcoming atmosphere and top-ranked universities for international students.

Wellington was ranked as the world’s most liveable city in The Global Liveability Index 2021. New Zealand is world-famous for its high living standards, scenic beauty and access to amazing outdoor parks, all of which will keep you healthy while you pursue world-class academic research and learning. Additionally, with nearly 20% of New Zealand’s population being foreign-born, you will always have access to a supportive immigrant community throughout your time in Wellington.

Top Universities in Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington

Founded in 1897, Victoria University of Wellington is situated on three urban campuses across Wellington and is home to nearly 18,000 enrolled students. The university is well-known as a top-ranked research university, and operates as many as 40 world-class research institutes including the Atom Innovation Lab.

With a sizable international student community of nearly 4,000 students, you will have all the support you require to settle in at the university.

Massey University

Founded in 1927 and located two hours away from downtown Wellington in the nearby town of Palmerston North, Massey University is one of New Zealand’s largest universities with additional campuses in Wellington and Albany. The university is home to over 5,000 international students from over 100 countries.

Massey University is especially known for its high-quality specialisations – it is New Zealand’s only university to offer courses in many subjects including veterinary medicine and nanoscience.

Wellington Institute of Technology

Founded in 1904 and originally known as the Petone Technical School, Wellington Institute of Technology is a government-run institute with over 2,000 international students. Located on three campuses in and around Wellington, WelTech is particularly well-known for its high-quality degree programmes in subjects such as Civil Engineering, IT and Business Management.

The institute also operates an excellent skills training program for international students, and its strong relationships with local businesses are of great help to international students seeking jobs after graduation.

Wellington Universities World Ranking 2023

Below are the top-ranked Wellington 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 2023 Rankings.

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

UniversityQS World Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2023QS Rank in New ZealandTHE Rank in New Zealand
Victoria University of Wellington241401-50045
Massey University=239601-80038

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Wellington

In addition to the above top-ranked Wellington universities, the city is also home to many world-class institutes with work-study degrees and courses offered in specialised departments including Environmental Science, Business & Healthcare.

Below are a few such top-ranked Wellington institutes for international students:

  • Retail Business and Management College
  • Information Technology Training Institute
  • Making Futures Happen International Institute
  • Tasman International Academies
  • Abacus Institute of Studies
  • Avonmore Tertiary Institute
  • Waiariki Institute of Technology
  • New Zealand School of Education
  • Royal Business College
  • Tai Poutini Polytechnic

Tuition and Living Costs in Wellington

As per 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. 

As 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 luckily have to pay only 4,500-6,000 US Dollars per annum, the same amount as domestic students.

On the matter of living costs, the Victoria University of Wellington estimates that international students should budget between 1,300 and 1,500 US Dollars every month. This figure includes 800-900 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 200 US Dollars for food expenses, 150-200 US Dollars for transport and entertainment costs, and another 120-150 US Dollars for utilities and miscellaneous expenses. 

These costs equate to about 15,000-18,000 US Dollars per annum. International students must note that as part of your visa application to study in New Zealand, you are required to prove that you possess at least 10,200 US Dollars to support yourself during your first year in Wellington.

Life in Wellington for International Students

International students are sure to enjoy their time in Wellington while away from the classroom. The city and its nearby region are filled with an endless list of tourist attractions, picture-perfect coastal spots, exciting hiking trails and entertainment venues.

Below is a list of some of the must-visit sites for international students in and around Wellington:

  • Wellington Cable Car
  • Wellington Botanic Garden
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa
  • Wellington Zoo
  • Wellington Museum
  • City Gallery Wellington
  • Mount Victoria Lookout
  • Rimutaka Forest Park
  • Mount Kaukau
  • Scorching Bay Beach
  • Wrights Hill Fortress
  • Princess Beach

International students can comfortably fly to Wellington via Auckland from their home countries, as the Auckland airport operates multiple international flights from all over the world.

Additionally, international students can easily make hour-long weekend trips by flight to other beautiful New Zealand cities such as Auckland and Christchurch, because of the small size of New Zealand and great connectivity options between major cities. Life in Wellington will surely excite you and inspire you to pursue your academics with high levels of confidence and focus.

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