Education providers in Waikato

Waikato offers an excellent range of high quality educational opportunities.

Waikato has educational facilities for every stage in life, from early childhood education to ongoing learning for adults.

Your child can attend primary and secondary schools as a domestic student if they are either a:

  • New Zealand resident or permanent resident
  • New Zealand citizen (includes Tokelauans, Cook Islanders and Niueans)
  • student visa holder based on your temporary work visa.

Students who are not eligible to enrol as domestic students may be able to enrol as international students. 

Education and schooling

Eligibility to enrol in New Zealand schools | Ministry of Education

Explore visa options to study | Immigration New Zealand 

Early childhood education

There are more than 490 options for early childhood education (ECE) in the Waikato region.

There are many different types of early childhood services, including teacher-led and parent-led services.

The Ministry of Education has a guide for parents explaining the differences between the various ECE styles.

Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website. 

Different kinds of early learning services | Ministry of Education 

Find Early Learning Services Waikato Region | Education Counts


Playgroups are informal groups where caregivers and pre-school aged children can meet in a relaxed environment. 

In a playgroup, parents and caregivers stay to interact with the other adults and to play with the children.

Playgroups are usually set up and run by parents and caregivers, with children choosing from a range of activities.

Activities at playgroup are either free or low cost, and may include music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, or arts and crafts.

Playgroups in the Waikato region | Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Primary and secondary school

Schooling is compulsory from age 6–16.

The education system for schools is made up of 13 Year levels. Primary education starts at Year 1 and goes to Year 8 (around 5–12 years of age). Secondary education goes from Year 9 to Year 13 (around 13–17 years of age).

There are more than 300 primary and secondary schools in the Waikato Region.

The school system

Find a school

Children usually attend a school in the area where they live, this is called a 'zone'. Many schools in New Zealand limit enrolments to students who live in their zone. However, some school don't have zones.

The Education Counts website lists every school in Waikato and their zone.

You can find reports about each school's performance on the Education Review Office website.

Find a school Waikato Region | Education Counts

Find review reports | Education Review Office

Tertiary education

There are many options for tertiary education in the Waikato Region. Qualifications available range from certificates to post-graduate degrees.

The University of Waikato is rated in the top 1.1% of universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2023.

Wintec is one of New Zealand’s largest Institutes of Technology/Polytechnics (ITPs) and a leading provider of high-quality vocational and professional education in the Waikato region.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa provides holistic education guided by Māori principles for New Zealanders of all ages and backgrounds.

Tertiary courses in the Waikato region |

Why study at Waikato | University of Waikato

University of Waikato | QS Top Universities

Study at Wintec | Wintec

Our Programmes | Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Adult Community Education

There are several options for community education in Hamilton.

A variety of adult education classes are available through Hamilton City Libraries, including English language and financial literacy lessons.

University of Waikato College offers access to the resources of the university for non-credit programmes and short courses.

The Citizens Advice Bureau lists adult and community education opportunities in the region.

Learning Services | Hamilton Library

Why study at University of Waikato College | University of Waikato

Adult education in Waikato | Citizens Advice Bureau

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