Entrance to overseas tertiary courses

Internationally, universities require foreign students applying for admission to have achieved the university entrance standard set by their own country. The same principle generally applies to other tertiary providers overseas.


New Zealand has traditionally had a formal agreement for mutual recognition of university entrance with Australia only. NCEA is accepted by the Australasian Conference of Tertiary Admission Centres (ACTAC), which ensures that all states/territories in Australia use a common approach for tertiary entrance ranking.

See Applying to study at Australian universities for more information on applying to an Australian tertiary institution.


In Britain, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) publishes an annual publication called International Qualifications for Entry to Higher Education (in addition to a publication on domestic qualifications).

The UCAS publication is a reference guide used by UK tertiary providers when they are evaluating school leaving qualifications of students applying for admission to UK tertiary institutions. The UCAS publication is also used more widely internationally as an authoritative guide. NCEA is listed in the annual UCAS publication.

In addition, the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), also consulted by tertiary providers, recognises that students with University Entrance and the NCEA level 3 certificate, including some merits/excellences in subjects to be studied at higher education institutions, are considered comparable to those with the overall GCE Advanced standard.

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