Successful scholarship applicants must meet both the academic entry requirements and the English language requirements determined by each education institution.

Check you meet academic entry requirements and English language requirements

As part of the New Zealand Scholarships application process, you need to choose your preferred education institution and preferred courses. Scholarship applicants don’t need to apply for admission to their preferred education institution and courses.

But scholarship applicants do need to check that they are likely to meet the minimum academic requirements and the minimum level of English required for their courses.

Course entry requirements are set by your chosen education institution so you must check minimum entry requirements on their website before you apply for a New Zealand Scholarship.

PhD applicants should look for a supervisor as soon as possible

From an early stage, PhD scholarship applicants should look for and email suitable PhD supervisors at New Zealand universities.

Only shortlisted applicants need English language test scores

You do not need to sit an English language test or provide English language test scores when you apply for a New Zealand Scholarship.

If we select you for the applicant short list during our scholarship selection process, then you will need to provide your English language test scores.

We accept test scores from these three English competency testing systems:

  1. IELTS (the International English Language Testing System) OR
  2. TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) OR
  3. PTE Academic (the Pearson Test of English Academic).

If you have passed an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic test to the required level during the last 12 months, then your university or education institution will accept these test scores.

If you do not have IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic test scores from the last 12 months, we will tell applicants on the short list, if and when they need to sit one of these English competency tests.

Some applicants may avoid English language tests

If you have already completed some of your previous qualifications in English, your preferred education institution may not require any IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic test scores from you. This is the decision of your preferred university or education institution only. You should contact your preferred education institution for a final decision about whether you need to provide English test results.

General level of English expected for post-graduate and under-graduate study

Each university or education institution sets the minimum level of English you need for your preferred courses, so check their website.

Generally, to study for a postgraduate qualification, you must have at least:

  • an overall IELTS score of 6.5 and no band less than 6.0
  • a TOEFL score of 90 on the internet-based test
  • an overall PTE Academic score of 58.

Generally, to study for an undergraduate qualification, you must have at least:

  • an overall IELTS score of 6.0 and no band less than 5.5 
  • a TOEFL score of 80 on the internet-based test
  • an overall PTE Academic score of 42.

Who organises and pays for the English language tests?

English language testing takes place during the final stages of our scholarship selection process. Only applicants on our scholarships short list, need current IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic test scores.

In most cases, shortlisted applicants will need to organise and pay for their own IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic tests. Shortlisted applicants will need to book a test with a company who does English language testing close to their location.

If you are on our applicants’ short list, you will need to book your IELTS or TOEFL testing as soon as possible. This is because the testing process can take several weeks.

You may lose the chance to get a New Zealand Scholarship, if your English language testing application form is late or incomplete or inaccurate.

We pay for English language testing for these countries

We organise and pay for the IELTS test for shortlisted applicants from these countries:

  • Cambodia
  • Fiji
  • Indonesia
  • Kiribati
  • Lao PDR
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants)
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

IELTS testing for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Timor-Leste

Shortlisted applicants from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Timor-Leste must sit the IELTS test before we conduct selection interviews. We have a representative in each country who organises the IELTS testing. This representative company will contact you to organise an IELTS test for you at an agreed time and location.

IELTS testing for Indonesia

Shortlisted applicants from Indonesia must sit the IELTS test after selection interviews. We have a representative in Indonesia who organises the IELTS testing. This representative company will contact you to organise an IELTS test for you at an agreed time and location in Indonesia.

IELTS testing for Pacific

Shortlisted applicants from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants), Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu must sit the IELTS test after selection interviews.

We contract a company, called Auckland Uniservices, to conduct IELTS testing in the Pacific. Before the IELTS test, Auckland Uniservices will also deliver a course to shortlisted applicants to prepare them for the IELTS test. This course takes place during two or three evenings at a location in your own country.

The New Zealand High Commission will contact applicants living on outer Pacific islands about travel to the location of the IELTS test in their country. Applicants living on outer Pacific islands may take this preparatory course online, if you have good internet access.

Apply for the IELTS online

If you are a shortlisted applicant from the Pacific, you must apply for the IELTS test online. Auckland Uniservices will email the online application form to you. Auckland Uniservices does not accept late IELTS applications. You may lose the chance to get a New Zealand Scholarship, if your IELTS application is late or incomplete or inaccurate.

IELTS applicants need valid passports

All IELTS test applicants must have a valid passport. All IELTS applications must include a digital colour copy of your passport.

If you don’t have a valid passport, in some situations the IELTS Regional Australia Office may give you special permission to use another form of official identification.

If you have any special needs or questions

Please email Auckland Uniservices if you have any questions or issues with the IELTS application process or testing process.

If you have a disability or any special learning needs (e.g. hearing aids, a visual or learning disability), please email Auckland Uniservices as soon as possible. They may need 6-12 weeks to prepare for any additional requirements.

English training for some shortlisted applicants with a test score just under the required level

We may pay for English language training for some preferred candidates who have a current IELTS test score that is almost at the required level. We will tell you if you are a preferred candidate who can get this English language training.

For preferred candidates from these Pacific countries

We may pay for up to 12 months of English language training for some preferred candidates from these Pacific countries:

  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants)
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu.

This English language training is part of your scholarship. It takes place in New Zealand, immediately before you start studying your qualification. After completing this English language training, you must meet the English language entry requirements for you preferred course. If you don’t meet the requirements, then your scholarship will cease and you must return home.

For preferred candidates from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Indonesia

We may pay for up to nine months of English language training for some preferred candidates from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Indonesia.

This English language training occurs in your own country. Our representative will contact you to organise this English language training for you at an agreed time and location in your own country.

After completing this English language training, you must meet the English language entry requirements for you preferred course. If you don’t the requirements, you can’t have a scholarship.

For preferred candidates from other eligible countries

Occasionally for preferred candidates from other eligible countries, we may pay for up to one semester of English language training in New Zealand.

This English language training is part of your scholarship. It takes place in New Zealand, immediately before you start studying your qualification. After completing this English language training, you must meet the English language entry requirements for you preferred course. If you don’t meet the requirements, then your scholarship will cease and you must return home.