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Main Centres

  • Hamilton Pop. 169,300

  • Taupo Pop. 37,200



  • Activities
  • Māori culture
  • Airport
  • Arts and Culture
  • Cafe Culture
  • Halls of Residence
  • Hobbit
  • Nature/Wildlife
  • Sports
  • Venues
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Whether you’re looking for a world-class university or a leading secondary school, the Waikato region can give you the education adventure of a lifetime. Hamilton, the biggest city in the region, is a lively student hub known for its walks, gardens, underground music scene and exciting nightlife. In Taupo, you can experience fun outdoor pursuits while improving your English or studying at a supportive school.

Where can I study

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The Waikato region is home to the University of Waikato, the Taupo and Tokoroa campuses of Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, and the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec). It has a strong network of English language schools, private training establishments, and primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

Why you should study in the Waikato

Studying at the University of Waikato gives you an international education from a world-ranked university and one of the country’s major research organisations.

The 2020 QS World University Rankings rate Waikato as 266th in the world, with three subjects in its top 200 rankings. Waikato Management School is part of an elite group of business schools to have earned Triple Crown status.

Wintec is one of New Zealand’s largest institutions of technology, with six campuses around the Waikato region. It is a leading provider of high-quality education in subjects including engineering, trades, IT, applied science and primary industries, business English and education.

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Waikato schools have a reputation for scoring excellent marks in national exams. Many local schools gained pass rates in the high 90s for the 2015 NCEA secondary school exams.

The Waikato region gives you a huge variety of schools to choose for your study adventure, including single-sex schools, co-educational schools, boarding schools, religious schools, and schools in the city or the countryside. One rural school even has its own dairy farm.

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Study English in the beautiful Waikato and you may be on your way to successful tertiary study in New Zealand.

Many of the Waikato institutions that teach English language have a goal of preparing students for future study in New Zealand. The region’s English language institutions have developed good relationships with Waikato tertiary institutions.

Taupo Language Centre offers English language classes combined with adventure or recreational activities. Other English language schools include Vision College and the Centre for Languages at Wintec.

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Learn more about studying in the Waikato

Waikato is a dynamic and culturally-diverse region set in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. The region has a range of affordable places where you can live and study, including the vibrant student centre of Hamilton, the rural community of Cambridge or the adventure centre of Taupo.

Why you should live in the Waikato

New Zealand’s fourth-largest city, Hamilton has all the benefits of city living but with room to breathe. It’s compact, has a relaxed pace of life and welcomes people from many different countries and cultures.

Hamilton has great restaurants, fantastic shopping, theatres and many outdoor recreation facilities, as well as a lively nightlife - the city has a network of underground bands and 60 bars and cafes on one block alone.

Only five minutes from the CBD are the Hamilton Gardens, a collection of 21 garden areas with themes ranging from Italian Renaissance to Sung Dynasty Chinese.

Hamilton was named in the top 10 South Pacific destinations on the rise by TripAdvisor in 2014.

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The Waikato is a value-packed destination for students, with affordable accommodation close to where you’ll be studying.

Affordable accommodation is within a short walk of major education institutions, which means transport costs are reduced and you’re unlikely to spend any time in traffic jams. A student discount card can give you lower prices for movies, food, fuel, technology, clothes and more.

Taupo also has affordable accommodation, including homestays, and education institutions are only a few minutes from the town centre.

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The Waikato is at the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, so study here and you’ll have many of New Zealand’s most popular tourist attractions in your backyard.

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, swim or waterski on Lake Taupo, walk the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, or check out the nearby beachside settlement of Raglan, famous with surfers for its left-hand point breaks and with art lovers for its thriving arts scene.

You’ll be able to learn more about Māori culture, explore the Waitomo caves and have fun on the Waikato River - and all only one-and-a-half hours from Auckland and New Zealand’s largest airport.

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As a centre for agriculture, business and tourism, the Waikato region is a great place to further your education and develop the qualifications, skills and work experience to set yourself up for your future career.

Waikato’s strong agricultural and horticultural sectors have close links with the region’s education institutions.

Dairy, meat, forestry, agritech and geothermal industries generate part-time and full-time jobs, as well as opportunities for student work placements.

Agriculture is the backbone of New Zealand’s export industry and a vital part of the regional economy - 30% of the country’s dairy herds are in the Waikato. It’s an ideal place to study and work if you have a passion for growing food.

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Waikato is a centre for research and technology, and plays an important role in training the researchers and technology leaders of the future.

The region is home to many research institutions, business incubators, and science and technology parks.

The University of Waikato has New Zealand’s only dedicated cyber security lab and its first Masters’ degree in cyber security. The Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato (CROW) aim to return control of data to data owners.

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Students in Hamilton often work part time or during holidays in Hamilton’s many restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and bars.

Part-time jobs - including jobs based around sport and the outdoors - may also be available in the Waikato region’s booming tourism industry. The beautiful resort town of Taupo is one of New Zealand’s leading tourist destinations, and there may be part-time work available for students in the visitor industry.

Tourism is also a popular study option for international students in the region. The New Zealand School of Tourism in Hamilton specialises in training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries, offering students visits, educational trips and paid internships.

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Discover more about the Waikato region at studywaikato.co.nz

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