Country-specific qualification recognition arrangements

New Zealand has arrangements with key education and trading partners, to recognise each other’s qualifications.

These can be with individual countries (‘bilateral’) or with a group of countries (‘multilateral’).

Sometimes we work on recognising specific qualifications. Sometimes we work at a systems level with whole qualifications frameworks, or with parts of qualifications frameworks (‘referencing’).

Often these arrangements follow from a trade agreement.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Some of the qualifications recognition work we are doing is to fulfil our obligations under these Free Trade Agreements:

  • China
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • AANZFTA (ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement)
  • TTRMA (Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement).

For more information about New Zealand’s current FTAs, see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Trade relationships and agreements.

For more information about the specific countries we are working with, see:

Australia  |  China  |  European Union  |  Hong Kong  |  Ireland  |  Malaysia  |  Pacific region  | United Arab Emirates |  United States 

Putting it into context

New Zealand has joined existing agreements with other groups of countries. To read more about these see General recognition agreements.

To read more about the purpose of our international agreements, what referencing and recognition involve, and why this might be important to you, see Our role in international education.

NCEA and university entrance qualifications recognition

To read about specific arrangements for the recognition of NCEA and university entrance qualifications, see International recognition of NCEA.

Individual qualifications recognition

NZQA also does qualifications recognition for individuals.

If you are a student wanting to gain entry to an overseas university, see International recognition of NCEA.

If you are an immigrant wanting to get your qualifications recognised so you can live, work or study in New Zealand, see International qualifications.

Contact us

For more information, or to give us feedback, please email us at

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