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Waikato education

Waikato offers an excellent range of high quality educational opportunities.

Eduactional facilities in the Waikato cover every level, from early childhood education to ongoing education for adults. The main city Hamilton is home to the University of Waikato, rated in the top 1.1% of universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2017.

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 they do not have any of these, check to see if they need visas.

Check what visa your child needs | Ministry of Education

The school system in New Zealand

Early childhood education

There are just over 460 options for early childhood education in the Waikato region.

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.

Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website. For more information about the kindergartens in this region, visit the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

ECE providers in the region | Education Counts

Waikato Kindergarten Association

Types of early childhood education services | Education Review Office  


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

Find a school

Visit the Education Counts website for information about schools in Auckland. You can search this website to find schools of different types in the region.

The Education Review Office (ERO) website has a link to each school’s performance report. 

You can find more information on the types of schooling available in New Zealand and what qualifications are offered on our School System page.

Find a school | Education Counts

ERO reports | Education Review Office

The school system

Check school zones

Schools in New Zealand are grouped into areas known as 'zones'. Children are usually expected to attend a school in the zone where they have their home. However, some school don't have zones.

To find out which schools you are in the zone for, search the Education Counts website.

You can also find more information about school zones on our Choosing a School page.

Find schools in your zone | Education Counts

Choosing a school

Tertiary education

Tertiary education in the Waikato Region is provided by the University of Waikato.

Wintec - Waikato Institute of Technology - 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.

Guided by Māori principles and values, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offers a comprehensive range of certificate to degree level qualifications to New Zealanders of all ages and backgrounds. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa operates a number of service centres in the Waikato region.

University of Waikato


Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Tertiary courses in the Waikato region |

Adult Community Education

There are several options for community education in Hamilton.

A variety of adult education classes are available through Hamilton Central Library, including a weekly English conversation class at the Celebrating Age Centre.

Waikato Pathways College’s Community Education offers access to the resources of the university for non-credit programmes and short courses.   

Adult community education | University of Waikato Pathways College

Lifelong learning | Hamilton Library

Adult continuing education in Hamilton | Citizen's Advice Bureau

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