International Students

View the general guide for international students wishing to enrol at the University of Waikato.

Further information is available on International page. Email: 


All students are required to meet the entry requirements for admission, as set out in the Admission Statute 2016. Applicants whose first language is not English or Māori are also required to provide satisfactory evidence of English language proficiency, as set out in the English Language Requirements for Admission. Scores can vary according to the qualification sought.

International students apply for admission online. 

Permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand, Australian citizens, and students from the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue who are New Zealand citizens, are treated as New Zealand students and do not need to apply for admission as international students.

Please note that to be eligible for domestic tuition fees, permanent residents and citizens of Australia must be living in New Zealand for the duration of the study. Domestic tuition fees information is available at Domestic tuition costs
All international students enrolling in an undergraduate programme must hold as a minimum requirement, an equivalent university entrance qualification as set out online at Undergraduate International

Many of the degrees offered at the University of Waikato have prerequisites on their core papers. Applicants who have not achieved specified prerequisites through their study will be required to take additional papers or foundation courses in order to satisfy these prerequisites. Applicants in this situation are advised that not all papers may count towards the completion of the degree and that the programme may take an additional period of time.

Code of Practice

The University of Waikato has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. Copies of the Code are available from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.

Students should refer to the Code of Practice for their specified responsibilities and to the International Student Handbook or this Calendar for University procedures and recommendations.

Tuition Fees and Charges

  1. International students are required to pay full cost tuition fees. Students should refer to the Table of Fees and Charges for other fees and charges that may be applicable.
  2. New international PhD students may be eligible for domestic fees for their studies. Conditions apply. For more information, see the Higher Research Degrees website.

New Zealand Immigration Requirements

  1. All international students must hold a valid student visa for the duration of their studies. A visitor visa is only valid for courses lasting less than three months in total. Further information regarding the various requirements of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) can be obtained from the Immigration New Zealand website, or the nearest New Zealand High Commission or Embassy.
  2. An offer of place at the University of Waikato does not guarantee that the student will be issued with a student visa.
  3. International students are required to obtain a student visa before travelling to New Zealand. Students must provide evidence to show they can have enough money to support themselves while they study in New Zealand. The source of fund is considered stable and there are no unexplained lump sum deposits. For more information please see here.
  4. The University is required to report to INZ those students who are not fulfilling the requirements of their student visa, which includes completing compulsory course components and passing papers.
  5. Full details of immigration requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from INZ, and can be viewed on their website.

Pre-paid Tuition Fees Policy

  1. As indicated above, international students are required to obtain their student visa and pay their tuition fees before enrolment can be completed. These funds are held against the student’s name until they complete their enrolment in person. This policy details the process for refunding these funds if (i) the student travels to New Zealand and does not complete their enrolment, or (ii) completes the first trimester of study and does not enrol in the second trimester of study and they have a student visa valid for one year, with the exception of students enrolling in B trimester then A trimester.
  2. All students must apply in writing for a refund of their pre-paid tuition fees to the Director of Student Services Division.
  3. Students are required to supply a verified copy of their passport and student visa, and a copy of their University of Waikato receipt(s) with their application for a refund.
  4. The University of Waikato will notify INZ that the student has not fulfilled the obligations of their visa by completing their enrolment at the University of Waikato.
  5. Where a student wishes to attend another institution in New Zealand, the University of Waikato will transfer the pre-paid tuition fees to that institution, upon written confirmation from that institution of the student’s intention to study. This should be in the form of a formal letter of offer or invoice which confirms the student’s acceptance into a qualification. If the student has already paid their tuition fees at the other institution, the University of Waikato will refund the pre-paid tuition fees to the student, upon written confirmation from the other institution that the fees have been paid. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the necessary documentation from the other institution.
  6. Where a student will be returning to their home country, the funds will be refunded in one of two ways:
    1. an overseas bank draft sent to the overseas address provided by the student
    2. if it is known that the pre-paid tuition fees have been paid by a third party, the refund may be paid back to that third party.
  7. Where a student is wishing to remain in New Zealand without enrolling at an educational institution, the University of Waikato will refund these funds either:
    1. upon evidence of a valid INZ visa to remain in New Zealand, or
    2. confirmation that INZ has discharged the University of Waikato’s duty under the original student visa.
  8. If a programme of study is cancelled by the University of Waikato, a full refund of pre-paid tuition fees will be made to the student by bank draft.

International Students Refund Administration Charge

International students who withdraw their application or their enrolment before the start date of their programme will receive a 100 percent refund of pre-paid tuition fees less a $500 Administration Fee. Students who withdraw their application or their enrolment after the start date of their programme but during the period for deletion of papers (refer to Clause 12 of the Change of Enrolment Regulations 2012, will receive a 100 percent refund of pre-paid tuition fees less a $2,000 Administration Fee.

Compulsory Medical and Travel Insurance

International students (including group students) must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand, as stated in the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. Under the Immigration New Zealand policy, this must be at least for the duration of your student visa. Enrolment is dependent on proof of appropriate insurance. To simplify the process of selecting insurance, the University has selected Studentsafe-University (underwritten by Allianz New Zealand) as the preferred insurance policy for all international students. The Studentsafe-University insurance premium will be added to tuition fees at the time of enrolment, resulting in international students being automatically enrolled in the Studentsafe-University insurance scheme. This premium will not be charged if evidence of an alternative compliant insurance policy is provided to the University before the specified deadline (please note there are only a small number of approved alternative compliant policies). For further information please refer to the International website

Eligibility for Health Services

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on the Ministry of Health Website. The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC 

New Zealand Government Scholarships

The New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) is the New Zealand Government's International Aid and Development Programme managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Education is vital to the New Zealand Aid Programme's mission of supporting sustainable development in order to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world. Scholarships are available to citizens from selected developing countries to undertake vocational training or tertiary level study in their home country, in New Zealand, or in the Pacific region. These scholarships enhance the skills, training and knowledge of individuals, and build their capacity to contribute to the sustainable development of key areas in their home country. The eligibility criteria and application process can be found on New Zealand Scholarships.

Strategic Alliances, International Partnerships and Agreements

The University is a forward-looking, innovative institution that welcomes strategic alliances, international partnerships, and agreements. Consideration is given to international institutions that match the University of Waikato profile in terms of reputation, academic standing, and research output.

All proposals for university to university linkages should be discussed in the first instance with the International Office. Proposals for guaranteed credit agreements need submission of full documentation to the International Office which will refer them to the appropriate academic authority for approval. Partnership proposals are welcome and will be explored on a case-by-case basis.

Memorandums of Understanding should also be submitted as proposals to the International Office, which will refer them to the appropriate authority.

Overseas visitors are welcome. Prospective visitors should contact the International Office with full background information about their proposed visit. The International Office will assist in arranging an itinerary which meets both the visitors’ and the University of Waikato’s needs.

Please contact the International Office.