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Why do International Students choose UCOL?

1. Over 100 years of excellence in education

Established in 1902 to meet the skills required by New Zealand businesses, UCOL has strong community connections.   

Many international students choose UCOL to gain an internationally recognised qualification and work experience while they study. Recent international graduates rated UCOL highly for its small class sizes and teaching approach, and scored our accommodation and living costs favourably. (2017 International Student Barometer survey, Education New Zealand). 

“In my opinion, if you want to study in New Zealand, UCOL is the best option to enhance your academic skills.” - Nikhil Rana (India), Graduate Diploma in Operations and Production Management


2. Easy access & located in central New Zealand

UCOL has campuses in the central New Zealand locations of Manawatū, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Horowhenua. International students choose to study at our Palmerston North and Whanganui campuses where we offer a full range of rewarding degree, postgraduate and English language study options.

“It is the best polytechnic. In a beautiful city and in the heart of the city. All the facilities are available here.” – Harvinder Singh Rangi (India), Graduate Diploma in Project Management

3. Wide range of study options

UCOL is a modern institute of technology and polytechnic with specialty in Applied Engineering and Trades, Health and Sciences, and Humanities and Business. UCOL’s programmes are employer-centred and ever evolving to meet the economic and social needs of our communities.

“Lots of courses and well qualified staff” – Sumit Verma (India), Graduate Diploma in Operations and Production Management

4. Strong industry connections

We partner with local businesses to provide work experience for many of our students studying diplomas, degrees and postgraduate programmes to help an organisation meet their staffing needs, solve a problem or advance a project. 

5. Award-winning staff

UCOL’s staff are passionate and dedicated to helping students succeed so they can make a difference wherever they work in the world.

“Lecturers are really helpful and environment is peaceful” – Ashish Devkota (India), Graduate Diploma in Project Management


6. Putting students first

UCOL's environments have been designed to enhance student learning, supported by a relationships-based teaching approach that provides successful classroom experiences and imparts valuable life skills.

“My tutors helped me believe in myself and achieve my goals” – Sonja Bartolic (New Zealand), Cookery

7. All round student experience

The UCOL student experience goes far beyond the classrooms at UCOL. Our International Student Support Staff will help make your journey at UCOL unforgettable.

“I also made really good friends there who are now like family here in New Zealand” – Ankita Sigdel (Nepal), National Diploma in Science

See how UCOL celebrates its different cultures at our annual Flavour of Cultures event:


8. A safe, welcoming & cost effective place to live

New Zealand is the second most peaceful nation on earth in the 2018 Global Peace Index. In Palmerston North international students are warmly welcomed.

Free buses for UCOL students in Manawatū and Whanganui and affordable accommodation at all our campuses, make UCOL a cost effective place to study. To find out how the cost of living in New Zealand compares with your country, see New Zealand Now.

“Friendly Lecturers and environment” – Nithin Krishna (India), Graduate Diploma in Information and Communications Technology


9. High-tech facilities

Students are immersed in a practical learning environment, with innovative technology and a range of specialised equipment that often surpass industry standards, including the Regional Trades and Technology Centre.

“The same technology that is used at Weta [Workshop] is what I have been taught” - Ryan Serrano (Phillippines), Computer Graphic Design

10. Successful alumni across the globe

UCOL’s growing network of alumni fosters collaboration and exchange with UCOL graduates around the world.


11. Study in NZ for a world-class education

New Zealand leads the world in education according to two recently released global reports. We're ranked first out of 35 economies for instilling future skills in The Worldwide Educating for the Future Index Report, and seventh out of 130 countries for preparing people for the future of work in the World Economic Forum's Global Human Capital Report 2017

An infographic about New Zealand being the number one English-speaking country in the world for preparing students for the future.

12. International Accreditation

UCOL's quality programmes of study and dedication to the pastoral care of its international students are highly regarded beyond New Zealand's shores. Find out about our international accreditations.