We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience of our website. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.


Main Centres

  • Palmerston North Pop. 88,700

  • Whanganui Pop. 43,800



  • Activities
  • Māori culture
  • Airport
  • Arts and Culture
  • Cafe Culture
  • Halls of Residence
  • Hobbit
  • Nature/Wildlife
  • Sports
  • Venues
Show map key

Education is prized in the Manawatu-Whanganui region. Whanganui is a leading centre of tertiary education for the creative industries, while 40% of people in Palmerston North either attend or teach at one of its 70 education institutions. Also Palmerston North and Whanganui have been selected as pilot sites for the national Welcoming Communities initiative, ensuring that international students receive a warm welcome in the Manawatu-Whanganui region.

Where can I study?

Manawatu by drone

The Manawatu-Whanganui region has a wide range of public and private education providers, from primary schools through to English language schools and tertiary institutions. The region is home to Massey University, UCOL institute of technology and IPU New Zealand Tertiary Institute.

Why you should study in the Manawatu-Whanganui area

The Manawatu-Whanganui region has a wealth of top-performing tertiary institutions and programmes.

Massey University is ranked 287th in the world in the 2020 QS World University Rankings, with its veterinary science programmes ranked 29th. It has a further three subjects ranked in the top 100 in the world.

UCOL, a Government-owned institute of technology, offers a highly-regarded Bachelor of Nursing, with 95% of graduates passing Nursing Council of New Zealand state final exams.

Other outstanding education providers include: Whanganui School of Design, which offers a range of experiential and innovative art and design programmes; IPU New Zealand Tertiary Institute, a Japanese-owned institution specialising in international studies; and the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy, which operates from Whanganui airport.

WGSchools 163

Whatever you’re looking for in a secondary school, it’s likely to be available in the Manawatu-Whanganui area.

International students can choose from many types of secondary schools, including religion-based schools, single-sex or coeducational schools, and a full boarding school in the tradition of an English public school.

The region’s secondary schools also offer speciality study areas such as sport, music and drama.

WGSchools 358

Students are being offered the chance to take part in short group education tours in Whanganui to discover what New Zealand has to offer as a study and lifestyle destination.

YMCA Central in Whanganui runs one to two-week group tours showcasing New Zealand education, adventure activities, the Kiwi lifestyle, and Māori culture.

The tours help students make an informed choice about whether they’d like to return to the region to study full time.

IMG 1778

Learn more about studying in the Manawatu-Whanganui area

Safe, affordable and culturally diverse, the Manawatu-Whanganui region has spectacular scenery and many opportunities for fun and adventure.

Why you should live in the Manawatu-Whanganui region

Study in the Manawatu-Whanganui area and be welcomed into safe, friendly communities that value diversity.

Both Palmerston North and Whanganui are designated World Health Organisation Safe Communities, which means you can feel safer as you enjoy your time as a student.

Palmerston North and Whanganui have been selected as pilot sites for the national Welcoming Communities initiative, ensuring that international students receive a warm welcome in the Manawatu-Whanganui region.

People from more than 100 cultures live in Palmerston North, which celebrates diversity with an annual Festival of Cultures and the Ethkick football tournament for migrant communities.

photo 7

If funding your studies is an issue, there’s no better choice of study destination than the Manawatu-Whanganui area.

Accommodation costs in Whanganui and Palmerston North are among the lowest of all New Zealand’s major centres.

Massey, UCOL and IPU students can travel by bus for free in Palmerston North, and UCOL students can also travel free in Whanganui. Students are also entitled to a range of discount and loyalty programmes to reduce their living costs while they study.

City from Durie Hill2

If you’re interested in exploring the rest of New Zealand during your study adventure, the Manawatu-Whanganui area is a great base.

Whanganui and Palmerston North are in central New Zealand and have good road, rail and air links with the rest of the country.

The region is a natural playground of walks, hikes, parks, beaches and native forests. The tourist hotspots of Rotorua, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington are all within half a day’s drive.

Whanganui is a digital leader, and was one of the first places in New Zealand to start developing an ultra-fast broadband network. In 2016, it was ranked in top seven intelligent communities in the world.

AT44 Whanganui National Park Whanganui Chris McLennan3

Learn more about living in the Manawatu-Whanganui area

Students in the Manawatu-Whanganui area are able to get a head start in the workplace by taking up industry internships. The area is the second-largest region in the North Island, and has job opportunities in industries such as agriculture, horticulture, food technology and tourism.

Why you should work in the Manawatu-Whanganui area

Tertiary education providers in the Manawatu-Whanganui area have close partnerships with local industry, giving students the chance to take up internships and gain work skills that give them an edge in the global job market.

At UCOL, regional employers offer students interesting project-based work and help shape degree and diploma programmes to ensure students graduate with relevant work-ready and practical skills.

UCOL health and science students work with elite sports teams, its business students take part in start-up competitions, and its student chefs work in training restaurants that are open to the public.

WG Graphic Design 13

Graduates in food, nutrition and agri-science subjects have exciting new job opportunities in the Manawatu-Whanganui region.

FoodHQ is a collaboration between businesses and more than 2200 scientists working in nine leading agri-science organisations.

Based in Palmerston North, FoodHQ aims to develop innovative food and drink projects to boost New Zealand’s export earnings. One of FoodHQ’s objectives is to support new talent, which is good news for students and graduates.

838346 0308 Studyinnewzealand ThinkNEW2

The Manawatu-Whanganui region has many businesses offering part-time and seasonal jobs.

International students in the region are working part-time in industries such as retail, hospitality, distribution centres and call centres, as well as in the agricultural and horticultural industries.

The region also has strong internship programmes in the business community.

838429 0286 Studyinnewzealand ThinkNEW2

Discover more about the Manawatu/Whanganui region at manawatunz.co.nz/study

Bridge to Nowhere Mountains-to-Sea-cycle-trail-Whanganui National Park

Stay in touch

For personalised tips and tools for studying in New Zealand.

Please complete all of the fields below.

Please enter a valid email address.

Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please select a country.

Please select a valid date (MM/YYYY).

I consent to Immigration New Zealand disclosing to Education New Zealand the existence, status and outcome of any visa application I submit, for use in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, Education New Zealand’s Privacy Policy which I have read and understood. The results Education New Zealand receives may also include visa decisions pre/post the student visa application (such as a work visa post study). This will enable us to provide a more personalised digital experience and undertake research and analytical studies associated with our functions.

You can unsubscribe at any time By submitting this form I agree to Education New Zealand Privacy Policy, and to receive updates and marketing communications about their services, promotions, special offers, new and events.

Thanks for subscribing

Tohu icon

Kia ora! Get answers to your questions about studying in New Zealand

Learn More