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Top Universities in New Zealand 2018

Top Universities in New Zealand 2018 main image

Click here to view the latest version of this article, based on the QS World University Rankings® 2020.

Eight top universities in New Zealand are included among the world’s best in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, of which five are in the global top 300 – with several institutions improving their positions this year.

1. University of Auckland

University of Auckland

Ranked joint 82nd this year, the University of Auckland is consistently the highest-ranked of these top universities in New Zealand. It’s also the largest and most comprehensive university in the country, with more than 40,000 students enrolled at six campuses and eight faculties. Five of its campuses are in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and the sixth is located in the country’s northernmost city, Whangarei.

2. University of Otago

University of Otago

The University of Otago climbs 18 places this year to now rank 151st in the world. The country’s oldest university (established in 1869), Otago is based in the city of Dunedin on the South Island. It has around 20,800 students enrolled, and is noted for its attractive architecture and gardens, earning it regular inclusion on lists of the world’s most beautiful universities. 

3. University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is ranked 214th in the world this year and is another of the oldest universities in New Zealand, founded in 1873 as Canterbury College. Located in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, the university hosts around 14,900 students, 1,100 of which are international.

4. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington

Located in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, Victoria University of Wellington is up nine places this year to now rank 219th in the world. Founded in 1897, the university offers a broad range of programs, and is considered particularly strong for law, the humanities and social sciences.

5. University of Waikato

University of Waikato

Another university on the rise this year is the University of Waikato, climbing an impressive 32 places to now rank 292nd in the world. Mainly located in the city of Hamilton on the North Island, the university was established in 1964 as the first New Zealand university to be designed from a blank canvas.

6. Massey University

Massey University

Massey University climbs 24 spots in this year’s ranking and is now joint 316th in the world alongside China’s Tongji University. Massey is known for the applied nature of its programs and close links to the community, and is the only university in New Zealand to offer programs in aviation, dispute resolution, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience.

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University

Lincoln University continues to improve its position in this year’s ranking, climbing 24 spots to rank joint 319th in the world, sharing this position with two other universities. Lincoln specializes in improving New Zealand’s land-based knowledge, wealth and productivity, and is ranked among the global top 50 for agriculture & forestry.

8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology

Ranked 441-450 in the world, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is the final of these top universities in New Zealand. Originally founded in 1895 as Auckland Technical School, AUT was granted university status in 2000. AUT receives the highest rank of any New Zealand university (29th) for its international student ratio.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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Hi Sabrina, If you can please share any link indicating the top University for Maters in Finance.
Thanks in Advance :)

Hi Umesh, here's a link to our latest rankings by subject for accounting and finance - you can narrow the results down to show only New Zealand universities. Hope it's helpful! :) 

HI Sabrina, in which university should i apply for business management for undergraduate international student.
Thank you

Hi Omer, we have a new subject ranking of the top universities for Business & Management here. You can narrow down the schools to show only the ones in New Zealand by selecting it from the 'By location' dropdown menu on the right-hand side of the table. You can also find general information for international students about studying abroad in New Zealand, here. Hope this helps. 

Please can I apply for scholarships medicine studies at this university

Hi Thomas, which university do you mean? You can find a range of scholarships to study in New Zealand here, and we also have a list of medical scholarships here

Sir i belong to pakistan
I want to get admission in bs software eng.I got 69% marks in matric and 80% in intermediate.Can i get my admission over there in a good uni.

i have just completed my masters degree in biochemistry and i want to do Phd in biological sciences from new zealand or germany. can you please guide me on this.

I have completed my bachelor in mechanical engineering. Is there any scope for mechanical engineer for the job ??

Hi Sabrina..
I completed bachelor of engineering in mechanical engineering And i wanna pursue masters in Mechatronics.. currently I'm taking work experience.please suggest me some best Universities from which i can pursue masters.

hi i am sagar.
i just have completed my post graduate in manufacturing engineering and i want to do PhD in New Zealand so what are the different test and scholarships available for international students?? can anyone knows then please reply me.....

Hi Sagar, we've listed a range of scholarships to study in New Zealand here, and you can read information on the tests and other admission requirements for studying there in our complete guide. Hope this helps.