Advice on NCEA Level 2 and Matthayom 6 Equivalence and University Entrance requirements for 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 admission decisions.

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.

NCEA and Matthayom 6 equivalence criteria - previous to 16 February 2017

The previous NCEA and Matthayom 6 equivalence criteria were achieved through either of the following options:

Option 1: NCEA Level 2 certificate (at least 80 credits, of which 60 must be Level 2 or higher and the remaining 20 must be Level 1 or higher).

In order to achieve NCEA Level 2, students will have to achieve the same literacy and numeracy requirements as those currently in place for NCEA Level 1. For more information about these requirements, see Literacy and Numeracy requirements.


Option 2: 60 credits at Level 2 or higher in a minimum of five subjects. These credits are to include a minimum requirement of 4 credits in English (literacy) at Level 2 or higher and 4 credits in Mathematics (numeracy) at Level 2 or higher. (NB: To achieve this option, Thai students must have studied 5 subjects)

Option 2 does not require a student to achieve NCEA Level 2.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Guidelines for universities are expected to be:

  • ESOL is not accepted as a subject in Option 2.
  • However, ESOL credits will be accepted as part of the 80 credits required to gain NCEA Level 2 in Option 1. 
  • ESOL can be studied at either NCEA Level 1 or 2 or a combination of both.
  • ESOL can be counted as one of the 5 subjects required by universities if a student achieves a minimum of 12 Level 2 credits.

Additional requirements for University Entrance

Universities in Thailand have indicated that they would give preference to applicants with NCEA Level 2, evidence of literacy and numeracy, and students that have achieved in five subjects. So it is recommended that you:

  • achieve NCEA Level 2
  • achieve numeracy and literacy requirements (see Option 2 above)
  • study five distinct subjects (similar to a course of study a New Zealand student aiming for university would take at Level 2)
  • achieve a minimum of 12 Level 2 credits per subject (preferably more, and the more Merits and Excellences achieved the better).

The universities’ expectations should be taken into consideration when finalising your course of study.

Subject choice

You are encouraged to check the pre-requisite subjects for your intended university study. Students wishing to apply for university should study a similar course of study to a New Zealand student aiming for university.

Provision of results to students

As well as the normal NCEA results documentation, NZQA will provide a letter, called an Overseas Results Notice, for you to present to universities when applying to enrol. The Overseas Results Notice is available in mid-January each year on your learner login, for instructions on accessing it, see Overseas Results Notice.

Planning your learning

NCEA is a very flexible qualification with a large number of subject areas that can be studied.  NZQA is aware that some of the subjects studied in New Zealand by international students have not been accepted for entry into academic tertiary courses overseas.  You, and your families, need to ensure appropriate guidance is provided to you by schools and agents regarding your course selections.  This is to ensure the subjects you study in New Zealand are appropriate for entry into academic tertiary courses overseas, or appropriate for your future study or career path.


Please refer any enquiries to:

International Unit
Telephone: +64 (0)4 463 3000

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