People and Society, Education
Auckland Institute of Technology, Auckland University of Technology, University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University
Education in New Zealand is free and compulsory for all children aged 6 through 16, although nearly all children begin attending school at age 5. Students spend eight years in primary school, often transferring to specialized intermediate schools for the final two years. Secondary schooling generally takes five years, and it remains tuition-free for students under the age of 20. Most students attend public secular schools; only a minority attend private or church-affiliated schools.
The system of higher education in New Zealand includes eight universities. The largest are the University of Auckland (founded in 1882), at Auckland, and Massey University (1926), with campuses at Auckland, Palmerston North, and Wellington. Other institutions of higher education are the University of Waikato (1964), at Hamilton; the Victoria University of Wellington (1899); the University of Canterbury (1873), at Christchurch; the University of Otago (1869), at Dunedin; Lincoln University (1990; formerly Lincoln Agricultural College), near Christchurch; and the Auckland University of Technology (2000, formerly the Auckland Institute of Technology). Several colleges provide teacher training, and polytechnic institutions offer degree programs, diplomas, and certificates in various technical and professional trades.
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