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Why study in Whanganui?

Whanganui’s secondary and tertiary institutions offer a diverse range of qualifications.

Our education providers are focused on their students’ futures and provide curriculum and opportunities that will lead to fulfilling careers. Small class sizes mean students have personalised attention and access to resources, and our affordable, friendly town provides students all they need to make the most of their time here.

I dream to explore, to experience and to learn.


Primary / Intermediate Schools


High Schools


Tertiary Providers


International Students

About Whanganui

Whanganui’s size and location make it perfect for students.

Our population of 44,500 is big enough to offer plenty to do, but small enough to provide a sense of community. It’s easy and safe for students to get around town on foot or bike and our affordable cost-of-living means less stress and more time to focus.

Students in Whanganui are well connected to the rest of the country and the world. A central location means it’s within an easy drive of most North Island cities and short, daily flights connect us to Auckland International Airport. Whanganui is internationally known as a ‘smart city’ and students benefit from our reliable, ultra-fast Internet speeds.


It’s easy to make friends in our warm and diverse community. Small class sizes mean you’ll get to build relationships with your classmates, teachers and tutors, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in volunteer work, sports teams, classes and clubs that will put you in contact with other like-minded people.


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The tutors here are quite friendly. They are not just focused on teaching, they’re also creating an environment for us to learn and prosper.

Sahil Gupta

Student, NZ International Commercial Pilot Academy

Secondary Schools

Whanganui has seven secondary schools that cater to a range of abilities and interests, including vocational pathways. There are opportunities for secondary students to get involved in arts, sports and cultural groups at their schools as well as through organisations around Whanganui.

Whanganui’s Secondary Schools

Cullinane College

Cullinane College is a Catholic secondary school offering a values-based education and a family atmosphere.

Students at Cullinane College are expected to work diligently in an environment commanding a high standard of behaviour both in and outside the classroom.


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St Dominic's College

St Dominic’s College is a private Catholic college, centred on Christ and the family. With separate campuses for boys and girls, the small school allows staff to focus on individual learner’s needs and provides a well-rounded education.


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Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho is a co-educations Māori language immersion school. The school has a role of about 170 students from Year 1 to Year 15.

Whanganui City College

Located in the heart of the city, Whanganui City College sets high academic standards and challenges students to reach their full potential through learning programmes that are tailored to meet their individual needs.


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Whanganui Collegiate School

Established in 1854, Whanganui Collegiate School has a legacy of academic excellence and sporting achievement. It is a unique live-in, co-educational learning community. Students are supported, nurtured and immersed in academic, sporting and cultural opportunities and challenges.


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Whanganui Girls' College

Whanganui Girls’ College has a reputation as a quality and caring school with a strong community spirit. Facilities include a performing arts studio, a diving pool, all-weather sports turf and a technology facility with state-of-the-art equipment. Boarding is available at Ad Astra Hostel.


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Whanganui High School

Whanganui High School is a modern, state funded, co-educational school of approximately 1500 students and over 160 staff, which prides itself on caring for individual students in a quality academic environment.


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Whanganui welcomes international students as part of our community, and many local families offer homestay or private boarding at their home. For students with English as a second language, this is a great way to become part of a new family while improving their English language skills. Education providers facilitate the screening and placement for international students with suitable homestay families.


Whanganui is a regional centre for tertiary education. A diverse range of qualifications are available across our tertiary providers, giving students the opportunity to choose the perfect path for them. All our providers share a commitment to positive student outcomes and high-quality, practical curriculum.

Tech and Trade

Tech and trade programmes provide pathways to employment in manufacturing and technology, construction and infrastructure and primary industries. Our proximity to nutrient rich farmland, an innovative industry sector and opportunities around land, sea and air logistics make us an ideal spot for learning. Students learn from experts in their industry and have access to apprenticeships and cadetships.

Creative Industries

“Creativity is the skill of the future,” according to a recent article from Forbes. Booming entertainment and digital industries mean increasing demand for workers in the creative industries. UCOL’s Creative Industries Vocational Pathway prepares students for this future with courses taught by award-winning artists and designers. Whanganui is well-known for its thriving arts community, making this a perfect environment for promising creatives to thrive.


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Commercial Pilot Training

A recent report from Boeing projects that the world will need 600,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. Helping to meet this demand is the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy in Whanganui. As New Zealand’s only commercial pilot academy outside the main centres, the NZICPA offers a uniquely intimate and comfortable setting for pilots to train.


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Social and Community Services

Jobs in the social and community services are currently in high demand, with job growth expected to continue. Our tertiary providers prepare students for rewarding, in-demand careers in fields like nursing and early childhood education.

Service Industry

Whanganui education providers prepare graduates for careers in the service industry, including hairdressing, chef training, business administration and tourism. Demand for workers in these sectors is strong and projected to increase in the future. Whanganui offers plenty of opportunities her for hands-on application of learning in Whanganui as well as employment opportunities for graduates.

Graduate Outcomes

Whanganui’s education options at both the secondary and tertiary level are intended to provide graduates the skills and experience they need to move into a satisfying career. Many of our courses, especially in tech and trades, have a high rate of job placement due to industry demand and close relationships between education providers and employers.

Our thriving and diverse economy offers plenty of opportunities for practical work to supplement classroom learning. Local companies also offer apprenticeships and cadetships, giving youth another option for learning and a guaranteed start to their careers.

Recent graduates also benefit from the services of employment brokers like 100% SWEET, who work closely with Whanganui students, schools, tertiary providers and employers to match youth with opportunities. 100% SWEET is governed by a charitable trust and all their services are free of charge.

International Students

Whanganui offers students from around the world the chance to gain internationally recognised qualifications, build valuable skills beyond the classroom, and have authentic experiences that will help establish strong, successful futures.

Students that are offered a place in an approved exchange scheme or from an education institution can apply for a student visa provided they meet Immigration NZ’s health and character requirements and are a genuine exchange participant. For more information or to apply for your visa, see the Immigration New Zealand website.

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They learn so much about the Kiwi life that they leave and they’re like Kiwis.

Tamaryn Toyne

Homestay Host

The people are very friendly and open-minded.

Homestay Student



The Whanganui Airport offers quick and easy daily flights to Auckland with Air Chathams