Specific country requirements for the recognition of NCEA

Australia

Australia recognises NCEA Level 3 as broadly equivalent to its Senior Secondary Certificates of Education, and accepts it for applications for entry to Australian universities.

Completing NCEA Level 3 is the equivalent of completing the standard Australian Year 12 programme, and normally satisfies the prerequisite for application.

Each year in early January, NZQA aggregates NCEA Level 3 results for students seeking entry to Australian universities. We convert the results to a percentile scale called the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and send this information to the Tertiary Admissions Centres. The conversion allows New Zealand students to be treated equitably with Australian students for tertiary entry and selection purposes.

Read more about gaining Entrance to Australian universities.

Europe

New Zealand has been a signatory country since 1978 to the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading to Admission to Universities (1953). Article 1.1 of the convention recognises the equivalence of university entrance qualifications between signatory countries, where that entrance is subject to state control.

Read the full text of the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities.

Germany

Germany recognises NCEA.

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Kultusministerkonferenz or KMK) of the German states (Länder) has recommended to German universities that they accept NCEA results for entry to German universities.

In Germany ‘Abitur’ is the school leaving qualification for students intending to study at university. The Abitur provides an average score, allowing universities to rank students for allocation of university places.

NZQA has an agreement with the KMK to convert NCEA Level 3 results for Abitur. This procedure applies to students who have commenced study in 2011 onwards.

Applicants must meet the requirements listed on the German language ‘Anabin’ at Informationsportal zur Anerkennung ausländischer Bildungsabschlüsse - Information portal for the recognition of foreign qualifications

Read the full German recognition requirements for university entrance.

NZQA provides an Overseas Results Notice that has been specifically developed for German foreign-fee paying students, to help German authorities and institutions understand NCEA. To see how to order one, see Ordering result documents.

India

The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognises NCEA Level 3 as equivalent to its university entrance requirement.

Read more about Indian recognition of international qualifications by the Association of Indian Universities.

You may find it useful to include in your university application an AIU letter (PDF, 63KB).

Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea formally recognises that the senior secondary school curricula of Korea and New Zealand are broadly comparable.

A historic statement was signed by Education officials from Korea and New Zealand on 23 February 2017 to acknowledge the completion of a joint research report, the first of its kind signed by Korea.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) completed a joint research report on the Comparison of Senior Secondary School Qualifications between the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The report looked at the education systems of the two countries, and provided a curriculum-to-curriculum analysis of Mathematics and Science subjects.

The joint research report supports higher education institutions in both countries to make decisions about the comparability of the Korean High School Certificate and the New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement Level 3.

Read the Joint Statement (PDF, 156KB).

Read the full report (PDF, 2MB).

Spain

Spain recognises NCEA when Spanish students with NCEA return to Spain for further study.

The university application process and confirmation of recognition is in a letter from the Embassy of Spain (PDF, 275KB).

Thailand

The Thai Government has made changes to the way that international students from Thailand apply for admission to Thai universities from February 2017 onwards. These changes affect Thai students in all overseas countries.

From February 2017

  • Students need to check admission requirements for the universities to which they plan to enrol. Thai universities will make their own recognition decisions.
  • In Thailand, ‘Matthayom 6’ (or M6) is the secondary school leaving qualification, and is used for entrance into university. NZQA has been advised that some Thai universities will continue to use the previous NCEA Level 2 - Matthayom 6 equivalence criteria to make their admission decisions. Students will need to apply directly to universities for entry.

NZQA is working with the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok to ensure a smooth transition for students in the 2017 cohort. Any further information will be posted on this site.

NZQA provides an Overseas Results Notice that has been specifically developed for Thai foreign-fee paying students to use to support applications to enter further study in Thailand. To find out how to apply for an Overseas result Notice, see Ordering result documents.

United Kingdom

The UK recognises levels of NCEA as equivalent to different levels of GCE.

UK NARIC (the United Kingdom National Academic Recognition Information Centre) states that:

  • NCEA Level 2 is comparable to the United Kingdom General Certificate of Education (GCE) (grades A–C).
  • NCEA Level 3 is comparable to the United Kingdom GCE A-Level.
  • University Entrance with NCEA Level 3 (with Merits/Excellences in subjects to be studied at higher education institutions) is comparable to those with the overall GCE Advanced Level.

The NARIC statements for NCEA Level 2 and 3 below confirm recognition.

NARIC statement for NCEA Level 2 (PDF, 135KB)
NARIC statement for NCEA Level 3 (PDF, 141KB)

United States

NCEA is generally accepted by colleges and universities in the United States as part of their admissions process.

College and university admission is determined by a number of factors, including Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and senior secondary school qualifications. Talk to your chosen college or university about their particular requirements. Find out about the admission process and ways NZQA can help.

Contact us

For more information, or to give us feedback, please email us at:
internationalunit@nzqa.govt.nz.

 
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