Australia Vs New Zealand – Which is better for education? | 2018

Sharing is caring :)

When one considers studying abroad in Australia, it is natural for them to consider New Zealand as well. This is due to its geographic location and similarities in living experience, culture, currency an many other contributing factors. Both countries emphasise the huge importance of delivering the quality of teaching to international students, thus there are many high ranking universities which are top 100 in the world. Both countries were once known in the Asia region as the closest anglo country (western society) to study and migrate, however in recent years migration policy has become somewhat tighter and more regulated (however it is still much relatively easier compared to the UK or the US) If you are considering to study and migrate to Australia or New Zealand, here we include some key information for you to consider.

Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.

New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.

Countries in comparison


  • The current population is 24,728,126 (May 2018)
  • The median age in Australia is 37.5 years.
  • The total land area is 7,682,300 Km2 (2,966,151 sq. miles)
  • The population density in Australia is 3 per Km2 (8 people per mi2).

New Zealand

  • The current population is 4,743,665 (May 2018)
  • The median age in New Zealand is 37.4 years.
  • The total land area is 263,310 Km2 (101,665 sq. miles)
  • The population density in New Zealand is 18 per Km2 (47 people per mi2).

Culture comparison

As one of the world’s most urbanised countries, Australia’s cities are the place to be. Australia is an interesting mix of Western Anglo and Aborigine influences, with the country trying to find a balance between the two very different backgrounds of its population. Known for wine production, tall movie stars and attractive Olympic swimmers, Australia is a relaxed nation of friendly, fun-loving people who are just as happy to toss a Frisbee around with you as to give you directions or share a beer (or three).

Like any siblings, New Zealand is all about the outdoors and thrill-seeking: every region has its own distinct features, activities and awe-inspiring scenery. It seems like everyone in the country has a part-time job at an outdoor adventure company, at least two pairs of hiking boots and a tent ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Cost of Living

The tuition course depends on the course and University you are applying to. Generally, New Zealand would be cheaper as compared to Australia.

ParticularsNew Zealand
TuitionAUD$18,000 – $40,000 per yearAUD$6,000 to $45,000 per year
Room and Living expensesAUD$10,000 – $20,000 per yearAUD$15,000 – $22,000 per year
TotalAUD$38,000 – $60,000 per yearAUD$21,000 – $67,000 per year

Popular courses

Australia has More Options for Study Abroad Programs with 43 universities in total than the 6 Universities in New Zealand. Sydney has the widest range of different programs and universities, including Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, generally considered one of the top schools in the country.


Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Architecture, Agriculture, Law, Accounting, MBA, Health Care, Information Technology, Computer Science, Media, Education, Commercial Cookery and Hotel Management.

New Zealand 

Health Care,  Business, IT/Computing, Tourism & Hotel Management and Visual Communications.

Entry Requirements


  • For undergraduate courses in Australia, almost all universities require 12 years of pre-university education, such as STPM, A-levels, Australia Accredited Foundation Program, SAM, IB and UEC.
  • In postgraduate courses, you can get admissions after finishing a three-year undergraduate degree. In the case of engineering, you will need a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering.
  • TOEFL or IELTS may be waived by the university but are important for the purpose of getting a visa.

New Zealand

It is easier to get into diploma courses than degree courses in New Zealand, as the level of competitiveness is different for both these qualifications. Higher education in New Zealand has 10 levels of study. Level 1 is for a certificate and level 10 is for a PhD.

Here are the levels and their corresponding qualifications –

  • Certificates – Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Diplomas – Level 5 and 6
  • Bachelors Degrees/Graduate Diplomas – Level 7
  • Honours Degree (Bachelors) – Level 8
  • Masters Degree – Level 9
  • Doctoral Degree – Level 10

For each course, students will have to meet a minimum English language requirement. 

Visa process


For Australian student visa, these rules apply –

  • It costs AUD$565 to apply for this visa.
  • Spouses get dependant only if the student is pursuing Masters degree or PhD. 
  • The spouses of Masters and PhD students can work unlimited hours.
  • Student visa holders are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during their study in Australia.

New Zealand

For New Zealand student visa, these rules apply –

  • A student visa will cost you AUD$300 (approximately).
  • As an international student, you must complete your course within the minimum course duration listed on your acceptance letter.
  • In most cases, the spouse and dependent children of a student will be granted a visitor visa for the same duration as their partner or parents’ stay. 
  • Spouses of the student on Work Visa can work full time in New Zealand.
  • However, the dependents of students on visitor visa have no work rights.

Post-study work permit


In Australia, graduates who have completed a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree may be eligible to apply for a two-year post-study work visa. Other graduates may be eligible to apply for an 18-month subclass 485 visa through the graduate work stream.

New Zealand

If you are a student with an offer of employment relevant to your qualification, you may be eligible for a work visa for a maximum period of two years. You will need to provide evidence of the relevance of your job offer to your qualification, and the proof of successful completion of a qualification in New Zealand that meets the Study to Work qualification requirements.

Employment opportunities


Top jobs in Australia are education, medical services, hospitality industry, computer system design, accounting etc.

New Zealand

Most popular job industries in New Zealand are Education, Engineering, Finance/business, ICT and electronics, Recreation, hospitality & tourism etc.

Permanent residency


Australia has a far bigger immigration program compare to New Zealand. However, getting a permanent residency permit to Australia is possible but it is a long process. Most applicants require scoring a minimum number of points on the Points Test starting from a minimum of 60. Do You Have Enough Eligible Points For Australia? check it out here. 

New Zealand

Due to the limited population in New Zealand, some skills are in chronically short supply. Immigration New Zealand has lists of industries where there is a serious skill shortage. Once you have completed your chosen course in New Zealand and are offered a job which is recognised under the skill shortage category and you have the relevant qualifications plus experience, your chances of getting the work visa and permanent residency will be easier. 

Contact us to find out more

International Student enquiries:
Phone: +6018-241-4802
Email: [email protected]

For more stories like this, join the Excel Education community on Facebook
Need help with your uni application? Connect with us here
About Post Author

Michelle Phan

A freelance writer, graduated from Curtin University, specialises in commercial writing, love travel and enjoy walking on the beach, Michelle also feeds on psychology quote and will give away just about anything to cuddle with furry felines.

Sharing is caring :)