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International Students

The following information is a general guide for international students wishing to enrol at the University of Waikato. Further information and application forms are available on the website: Email:


All students are required to meet the entry requirements for admission, as set out in the Admission Statute 2008. Applicants whose first language is not English are also required to provide satisfactory evidence of English language proficiency, generally in the form of an IELTS or TOEFL examination score, as set out in the English Language Requirements for Admission. Scores can vary according to the qualification sought.

International students must apply for admission on the Application to enrol form for new international students, available online at

Permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand, Australian citizens, and students from the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue who are New Zealand citizens, are treated as New Zealand students and do not need to apply for admission as international students. Enquiries should be directed to the Student and Academic Services Division in the Gateway.

All international students enrolling in an undergraduate programme must hold as a minimum requirement an equivalent university entrance qualification; for example, three passes at grade C or better in the GCE ‘A’ level examinations. Students who have achieved an equivalent to New Zealand University Entrance through a qualification other than NCEA at Level 3 will have their admission assessed on a case by case basis.1 Please contact the Student and Academic Services Division for detailed guidelines on admission to the University of Waikato.

Code of Practice

The University of Waikato has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the Ministry of Education. Copies of the Code of Practice are available on request from this institution or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at Students should refer to the Code of Practice for their specified responsibilities and to the International Student Handbook or this Calendar for University procedures and recommendations.

Tuition Fees and Charges

1.   International students are required to pay full cost tuition fees. Students should refer to the Table of Fees and Charges for other fees and charges that may be applicable.
2.   Application for credit from overseas study prior to enrolment $100.00.
3.   Application for credit from overseas study after enrolment $50.00.
4.   New international PhD students are eligible for domestic fees for their PhD studies. Conditions apply. For more information, see the Postgraduate Studies Office website:

New Zealand Immigration Requirements

1.   All international students must hold a valid student permit (or visitor permit for courses of less than three months) for the duration of their studies. Further information regarding the various requirements of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) can be obtained from the nearest New Zealand High Commission, Embassy or INZ Office.
2.   An offer of a place at the University does not guarantee that the student will be issued with a student visa.
3.   INZ require that tuition fees for the first year of study are pre-paid before a student visa will be issued. Students are also required to provide evidence of additional funds available for living costs of approximately NZ$10,000.
4.   The University is required to report to the INZ those students who are not fulfilling the requirements of their student permit.
5.   Full details of immigration requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from Immigration New Zealand, and can be viewed on their website at

Pre-paid Tuition Fees Policy

As indicated above, international students are required by the INZ to pre-pay one year’s tuition fees to the University of Waikato in order to be granted a student visa. These funds are held against the student’s name until they complete their enrolment in person. This policy details the process for refunding these funds if (i) the student travels to New Zealand and does not complete their enrolment, or (ii) completes the first semester of study and does not enrol in the second semester of study and they have a student permit valid for one year.
1.   All students must apply in writing for a refund of their pre-paid tuition fees to the Head of the Student and Academic Services Division.
2.   Students are required to supply a verified copy of their passport and student permit, and a copy of their University of Waikato receipt(s) with their application for a refund.
3.   The University of Waikato will notify INZ that the student has not fulfilled the obligations of their visa by completing their enrolment at the University of Waikato.
4.   Where a student wishes to attend another institution in New Zealand, the University of Waikato will transfer the pre-paid tuition fees to that institution, upon written confirmation from that institution of the student’s intention to study. This should be in the form of a formal letter of offer or invoice which confirms the student’s acceptance into a qualification. If the student has already paid their tuition fees at the other institution, the University of Waikato will refund the pre-paid tuition fees to the student, upon written confirmation from the other institution that the fees have been paid. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the necessary documentation from the other institution.
5.   Where a student will be returning to their home country, the funds will be refunded in one of three ways:
  (a)   an overseas bank draft sent to the overseas address provided by the student
  (b)   an overseas bank draft given to the student which can be banked in the appropriate overseas country, or
  (c)   if it is known that the pre-paid tuition fees have been paid by a third party, the refund may be paid back to that third party.
6.   Where a student is wishing to remain in New Zealand without enrolling at an educational institution, in New Zealand without enrolling at an educational institution, the University of Waikato will refund these funds either
  (a)   upon evidence of a valid INZ permit to remain in New Zealand, or
  (b)   confirmation that the INZ has discharged the University of Waikato’s duty under the original student permit.
7.   If a programme of study is cancelled by the University of Waikato, a full refund of pre-paid tuition fees will be made to the student by bank draft.

International Students Refund Administration Charge

An administration charge of 10%, including GST, is withheld from the refund of pre-paid tuition fees for students who decide not to enrol at the University of Waikato prior to completing their enrolment or during the withdrawal period. A further charge may be imposed to recover Agent Commission paid by the University in relation to the student’s enrolment, and fees paid, where the student committed to enrol for the full academic year.

1.   Many of the degrees offered at the University of Waikato have prerequisites on their core papers. Applicants who have not achieved specified prerequisites through their study will be required to take additional papers or foundation courses in order to satisfy these prerequisites. Applicants in this situation are advised that not all papers may count towards the completion of the degree and that the programme may take an additional period of time.

Compulsory Medical and Travel Insurance

International students (including group students) must have appropriate and current health and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand, as stated in the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. This must be for the full period of study in New Zealand and enrolment is dependent on proof of appropriate insurance. To simplify the process of selecting insurance, the University has selected Studentsafe-University (underwritten by VERO Insurance New Zealand Limited) as the preferred insurance policy for all international students. The Studentsafe-University insurance premium can be added to tuition fees at the time of enrolment, resulting in international students being automatically enrolled in the Studentsafe-University insurance scheme. This premium will not be charged if evidence of an alternative compliant insurance policy is provided to the University before the specified deadline (please note there are only a small number of approved alternative compliant policies). For further information please refer to the website

Eligibility for Health Services

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If they receive medical treatment during their visit they may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on the website The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website

New Zealand Government Scholarships

New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) and NZAID-funded Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded by the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) on behalf of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Open to designated countries, the scholarships are for postgraduate and undergraduate (limited) study in New Zealand in areas of developmental relevance which will enable students to make a significant impact on return to their home countries. NZDS Scholarships have two categories; Public and Open. Students can only apply under one of these categories and must be resident in their home country at the time of application. The scholarships cover tuition fees, enrolment/orientation fees, return economy travel, medical insurance, and an allowance to meet course and basic living costs. Limited assistance may be available for dependants in New Zealand for courses of study 18 months or longer.

Further information on the scholarships and eligible countries can be found at or

New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) are funded by the New Zealand Government and administered by Education New Zealand. NZIDRS are open to all countries and entitlements include tuition fees and living allowances. NZIUFS are open to designated countries and cover tuition fees only. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit. Further information can be found on the website

Waikato International Student Exchange

The International Student Support team administers the University’s international student exchange programmes and is the central resource of promotional material from partner universities from around the world. Domestic and international students of good academic standing should be eligible to apply for an approximate exchange after having completed the equivalent of two semesters of full-time degree-level study at the University of Waikato. Students may not go on exchange to their home country. Exchange students are expected to be positive ambassadors for the University of Waikato and New Zealand. With prior approval, study completed at the partner university can be credited towards students’ University of Waikato qualifications, although this cannot always be guaranteed in advance. Further information can be obtained from International Student Support or the website

Strategic Alliances, International Partnerships and Agreements

The University is a forward-looking, innovative institution that welcomes strategic alliances, international partnerships, and agreements. Consideration is given to international institutions that match the University of Waikato profile in terms of reputation, academic standing, and research output.

All proposals for University to University linkages should be discussed in the first instance with the Pro-Vice Chancellor International. Proposals for guaranteed credit agreements need submission of full documentation to the Academic Quality and Planning office, which will refer them to the appropriate academic authority for approval. Partnership proposals are welcome and will be explored on a case by case basis. Memorandums of Understanding should also be submitted as proposals to the Academic Quality and Planning Office, which will refer them to the appropriate authority.

Overseas visitors are welcome. Prospective visitors should contact the Communications and External Relations Division with full background information about their proposed visit. The Division will assist in arranging an itinerary which meets both the visitors’ and the University of Waikato’s needs.