Affordable Universities in New Zealand That You Wish You’d Known Sooner.

9 minutes reading time (1796 words)
Affordable Universities in New Zealand That You Wish You’d Known Sooner

Whether it is for skiing, hiking, surfing, or bungee jumping, New Zealand is a hotspot for adventure sports and recreation. It is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, loaded with natural scenery and delightful cultures.

Did you know that New Zealand has seas surrounding it, so you cannot be more than 120 km from the sea wherever you are? It's beach life all day, people!

With so many natural attractions, New Zealand is well-known for its quality education and career opportunities for graduates worldwide. Let's bungee-jump right into the benefits of pursuing higher education in New Zealand and why you shouldn't wait further to make the right decision! 

Most Affordable Universities in New Zealand for International Students

Higher education, especially for international students in a foreign destination, poses quite the challenge regarding the cost of living and cultural and lifestyle differences. But, in a country as friendly as New Zealand, you can breathe a sigh of relief because the locals, aka the Kiwis, are as amicable and welcoming as they can get.

In this blog, we'll explore a few of the most Affordable Universities In New Zealand For International Students and how AECC Global helps overseas students navigate international realms and make the most of their academic journey abroad.

 1. University of Waikato

Affordable international education is not a myth, not anymore! The University of Waikato, for instance, is among the Cheaper Universities In New Zealand that offer quality education to international students, with undergraduate tuition fees starting from just $18,725 a year.

Let's see what more is up for grabs at the University of Waikato:

  • It is ranked second in New Zealand and 46th internationally for excellent student support services.
  • It is hailed as the second most peaceful country in the world, New Zealand welcomes and nurtures international talents. Along the same lines, this university too has overseas students making up 29% of its student population.
  • It is ranked in the Top 300 universities in the world for world-class education, cutting-edge research, and university experience.
  • It contributes to sustainable development goals and community inclusion campaigns to promote an equitable society.
  • Be it Cultural Studies, Management, Design or Philosophy, the university offers practical knowledge and work skills to make students industry ready and eligible for post-study work visas.

2. Lincoln University

One of the best and top-ranked liberal arts universities in New Zealand, Lincoln University is one of the oldest agricultural teaching institutions in the world. If a fellow student hollers "L U!" at you, it means you just became a part of something that is life-changing!

Facts about Lincoln University that you might not know but should:

  • Undergraduate tuition fees start at $17,912 per year, and almost 89% of the students prefer university-affiliated or owned accommodation.
  • It has a diverse student population, comprising nationals from other countries and surrounding states, making it one of the top-preferred universities for international students.
  • Their highly-skilled faculties across all disciplines hold a terminal degree - the highest achievement in a field of study. The university has commendable faculty support with a decent student-trainer ratio of 13:1.
  • Nestled between picturesque hilltops, the university has sorority clubs, homecoming events, and recreation facilities to help students lead an exciting life on campus. 

3. University of Canterbury

One of the most prestigious higher education universities in New Zealand, the University of Canterbury is a multicultural campus with robust student support and services, enabling aspiring students to make the right career decisions.

How precious is Canterbury for higher studies? Psst! Here's a fun fact you might not be aware of!

Sam Neil graduated from Canterbury a couple of decades ago, and the university is also the alma mater of Google's Engineering Director, Craig Nevill-Manning. Some pretty great reasons to explore Canterbury, y'all! Here are some more reasons:

  • Canterbury actively promotes sustainable development goals, with a vision to become carbon net neutral by 2030.
  • Facilities include comfortable learning spaces, well-stocked libraries, research facilities, recreation centres, business spaces, nurseries, and affordable accommodation to facilitate a seamless academic journey at the premises.
  • Clubs, student societies, restaurants, and events would add colour to your stay at the university, with the cherry on top being the ever delightful New Zealand climate.

If you want to experience sunny with the right amount of perfect clouds, then New Zealand is your wonderland! Ensconced in botanical gardens and rolling farmlands, the university serves the best of nature's delights and academic pursuits. What are you waiting for? 

4. Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

One of the most prominent institutions in the world for technology studies, AUT is one of the most affordable education institutions in New Zealand, with undergraduate tuition fees starting from NZ $15,000.

Hold on. There's more to AUT than just affordability and excellence in training:

  • Dynamic and one of the largest universities in New Zealand, AUT is ranked #1 for Global Research Impact and International Outlook and ranked in the top 150 for Communication & Media Studies and Art & Design.
  • With learning and research spaces, lecture theatres, and motion capture studios (hell yeah!), AUT offers a lucrative and innovative teaching and practical learning environment, to help students get hands-on experience in any field of study.
  • Modern and affordable, student accommodation is every bit comfortable, equipped with all the necessary facilities, including lounge and study spaces.
  • With 5-star ratings in employability by the QS Stars 2020-22, it is one of the best and most affordable universities for international students to study and pave the way for the career of their dreams.
  • How affordable, you ask? Most undergraduate courses start from NZ $18,000 annually, with cheap on-campus accommodation choices. For a holiday-like education, we say, head straight to the application page! 

5. The University of Otago

The University of Otago is among the Matariki Network of Universities that focuses on practical learning, high-quality student experience, and advanced research in many fields, including natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The 150-year-old university has a rich history of outstanding multidisciplinary research facilities and employing research faculty.

Did you know that the University of Otago was the very first university in New Zealand? Well, here are some more interesting facts about the university:

  • With world-class research facilities and flexible study options, the university is one of the finest in teaching excellence, with almost 95% of its student body getting employed or accepted for further studies.
  • With fitness clubs, recreational facilities, sports activities, chaplains, and lounge spaces, the university offers a unique student experience that contributes to their rounded development.
  • From historic-styled houses to purpose-built complexes, the university offers a wide range of accommodation to international students to facilitate their stay on campus.
  • Oh, and did you know that the university's central library is one of the best in the country and that the campus is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world? Think roses, peonies, kamahis (a common forest tree in New Zealand), and long lines of Chatham Island plants. Now, isn't that a sight to behold? 

6. Victoria University of Wellington

One of the top-ranked universities in research facilities and quality education, Victoria University of Wellington also shares a long history of changing the world through educating generations and enabling holistic progress.

Why's Victoria University one of the most affordable universities for international students and one of the much-preferred universities globally?

  • Among the top 1% universities in the world according to QS World Rankings 2022 in 18 subjects and first in New Zealand for Politics and International Studies.
  • Housing a diverse student population with international students from over 100 countries, VU is one the best universities for international students, thanks to beneficial scholarships and loan facilitation to reduce the burden of studying abroad.
  • Also, the university offers flexible accommodation for international students. Whether it is on-campus lodging, private accommodation, or homestays - you can apply for your choice of accommodation through the university.
  • One of the biggest universities in the capital city, Victoria University is connected to and partnered with some of the best universities worldwide.

To sum it up, here is a list of universities and the cost of doing a bachelor's or master's degree in New Zealand. With full-time courses starting from $15,000, New Zealand offers the best affordable education abroad.

Universities  in New Zealand

Bachelor's (Cost per year)

Master's (Cost per year)

University of Waikato

$23,260 - $32,455

$32,400 - $41,080

Lincoln University

$11200 - $17,912

$30,000 - $47,000

University of Canterbury


$33,000 - $54,000

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

$15,000 - $18,000

Starts from $33,000

The University of Otago


$20,000 - $29,000

Victoria University of Wellington

Starts from $28,000

Starts from $32,000

How can we at AECC Global help you?

We at AECC Global work with some of the finest educational institutions in the world to make high-quality education accessible for students from all walks of life. From career counselling to scholarships and internships, we help students globally land their desired course in the right destination by providing end-to-end educational services.

AECC has partnered with all of the above-listed universities in New Zealand to help students navigate their academic goals while contributing to their overall development. With multidisciplinary research centres and advanced learning spaces, universities in New Zealand are among the top 1% of the world university list. Furthermore, we also help students with their post-study work visa in their study destination to help them establish a career in their chosen field of study.

At AECC, everything isn't only about education. It is also about all those other aspects that make studying abroad worthwhile; being a part of a global community that supports, nurtures, and enables students to experience a larger-than-life environment - a global lifestyle.

Connect with our experts today to ensure a hassle-free educational experience abroad!


1. Is accommodation in New Zealand affordable for international students?

Most universities have affordable on-campus accommodation with all the facilities like recreation, study spaces, learning centres, etc., to make your stay comfortable.

2. How to best manage the cost of living in New Zealand?

Universities promote part-time working opportunities to help you manage your stay during the course of your study.

3. How friendly is New Zealand for international students?

Kiwis, or the native New Zealanders, are some of the friendliest people in the world, so you can be certain to get guidance and help wherever required.

4. Will international students get career support and guidance?

Universities offer student services, including career support and guidance to help you have a stress-free academic journey and career growth.

5. How congenial are university campuses for international students?

The campuses are rich in greenery, and equipped with all the necessary amenities, making universities in New Zealand some of the most lucrative overseas study destinations.

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