University Entrance

The numeracy requirement for University Entrance (UE) has been amended (see in bold below) for the 2022 and 2023 academic years. Students who successfully complete the new numeracy (32406) or pāngarau (32412) unit standards during the 2022 pilot or 2023 transition year will be able to use them to meet the numeracy requirement for the award of UE in 2022 and 2023.

This temporary modification is for the award of UE in 2022 and 2023 only. The upcoming review of UE will inform any future modifications, including for 2024.

Further information about the change is available here.

University Entrance (UE) is the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand university. To be awarded UE you will need:

  • NCEA Level 3
  • 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved subjects
  • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
    • 5 credits in reading
    • 5 credits in writing
  • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
    • achievement standards – specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or
    • unit standards - package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required), or
    • numeracy unit standard 32406 OR te pāngarau unit standard 32412.

Once you have met the requirements for University Entrance it will appear on your Record of Achievement.


Credits can be accumulated over more than one year.

If a unit and an achievement standard assess the same learning outcome, only the credits for ONE standard can be counted. In other words they are 'mutually exclusive'. A list of such exclusions is published each year.

Discretionary entrance

When an applicant does not qualify for University Entrance to a New Zealand university, they may be eligible for Discretionary Entrance.

See Universities New Zealand - Discretionary Entrance for more information.

Appeals process for Discretionary and Ad Eundem Statum Entrance

Applicants who are not happy with the decision of a University regarding discretionary entrance may appeal that decision.

Review of University Entrance requirements

During 2016-2017, NZQA reviewed the University Entrance requirements. Please go to the Review page for more information.

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