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Canterbury education

Canterbury region offers excellent education facilities at every level. They include around 160 schools and two universities - Canterbury University and Lincoln, a specialist land-based university.

Other tertiary options include Ara Institute of Canterbury, the College of Education, and a number of English language institutes. 

If your children are New Zealand residents, permanent residents or citizens (this includes Tokelauans, Cook Islanders and Niueans), or they hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa, they can attend primary and secondary schools as domestic students. If this is not the case, you should check to see if they need visas.

There are over 440 options for early childhood education (ECE) in the Canterbury region; these are listed on the Education Counts website. 

There are many different types of early childhood services.  A key difference between these services is how much involvement they expect of the child's parents and family. The main types of early childhood education services are described on the Education Review Office website.

Types of early childhood education services | Education Review Office 


Playgroups are informal sessions where caregivers and children aged 0-5 meet together 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 Canterbury region | Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

If you are in Christchurch and have a young family, there is information about what activities are available on the Chch Under 5s Collective website. The website also includes an International Community page, with resources for those who are new to New Zealand.

The Chch Under 5s Collective

Find a school

Search the Education Counts website for single sex or co-educational schools and boarding schools in the region.

Information is provided on student population and attainment for each school, decile rating, website and street address as well as a link to their Education Review Office report.

More information on the types of schooling available in New Zealand and what qualifications are offered there can be found on the School System page.

The school system

Check school zones

Not all schools have an enrolment zone, but if they do, the TKI map will display the school's information with a Show/ Hide Enrolment zone option, and a blue marker. If you click either option a zone will appear on the map.

This website also shows transport options for the school. TKI is a service of the Ministry of Education.

Canterbury University - Information on courses, qualifications and how to apply.

Lincoln University - A specialist land-based university, find out more about courses and applying.

Ara - The Ara Institute of Canterbury offers qualifications in many different subject areas.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - One of New Zealand's largest tertiary education providers. They offer a comprehensive range of certificate to degree level qualifications. - A list of tertiary courses available in the Canterbury region

Adult Community Education

Christchurch City Council -  Links to adult and community courses in Christchurch. 

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