Selection process

Step 1: Acknowledgement

When we receive an application we send an acknowledgement letter.  The information in your application is then considered.  We do not usually wait for the closing date and tend to process applications as they arrive.  Applications are processed throughout the year, even though there are just two intakes – January/February and July.

Step 2:  Academic Background and English Language

This step considers whether you are likely to:

  • Have a suitable academic background
  • Be competent at communicating in English.

If it appears that you are, then your application proceeds to the next step. If not, we will send you a rejection letter explaining what aspects of your academic background, or competency at communicating in English, you have not met.

Step 3:  Shortlisting for interview

The Tertiary Education Commission sets strict limits on the number of teacher interns that NZGSE can train. Based on previous application rates, it is likely that we will only be able to accept around 60% of our applicants. Step 3 is a shortlisting procedure.

The shortlisting process considers whether it is likely that you would:

  • Be of good character
  • Be fit to be a teacher
  • Be suitable to be a teacher
  • Be employable.

This is done by examining the written information provided by you, and we may choose to contact one or both of your referees at this time.  When we contact a referee, it will be by telephone.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview.  If you are not included on the shortlist for interview, then we will send you a rejection letter.  If your application is declined at Step 3, we will identify which of the four criteria concerned us and led us to not include you in the shortlist.

Step 4: Interview

If your application reaches Step 4, you will be invited to a face-to-face interview.  Generally, we expect any applicant who is resident in New Zealand to attend an interview in Christchurch.  We can be flexible with the timing of interviews to allow applicants to take advantage of cheap airfares that may be on offer.  If you are unable to attend an interview in Christchurch, alternative arrangements will be made to interview you in another centre, or in another way. 

When you attend the interview, you will also be required to complete a literacy assessment and a numeracy assessment.

No one is accepted into the NZGSE programme without an interview.

At the end of the interview you will be given a date by which you can expect to hear the outcome of your application.

Step 5: Final decision

All the information is brought together from your application, the interview and the referees' comments.  We may contact one or both of your referees at this time.  Occasionally, we may choose not to speak to any referee or may ask you to provide additional referees.  Their comments are especially important in determining your suitability to be a teacher.

The selection team  then makes a decision and will send you a letter with the result.  If you are unsuccessful, the letter will explain why.  It is NZGSE’s practice to give reasons to unsuccessful applicants explaining why their application has been unsuccessful.  These applicants may not agree with our view, but they will know what we based our decision on.

Some applicants may receive the disappointing news that their application has been unsuccessful because of limited places on our programme.  In these circumstances we may simply say that we preferred other applicants and offer no other reason.  For some secondary applicants, we may say that we could not overload particular subject areas for which employment prospects are not strong.  These two categories of applicants may feel some consolation to know that we considered them suitable applicants to be on our progamme.


Your letter of offer will include an Acceptance Form for you to sign and return to us.  Once we have received this form for you there will be a contractual arrangement between you and NZGSE.

The offer may lapse if it is not accepted within 7 working days of the date of your Letter of Offer, and your place may be offered to another applicant.  If you do not wish to accept the offer of a place on the programme we ask that you write back and tell us that.

Enrolment, itself, is a simple process that takes place on the first day of the programme.


The Education Act 1989 covers the situation of withdrawing within 7 days of the start of the programme.  If you do this, you are entitled under the Act to a refund of all tuition fees, except 10% or $500, which ever is the lesser.

If you withdraw after 7 days, no refund is due.  However, in keeping with NZGSE's policy of charging fees by the term, if you have paid for any terms beyond the current term, we will refund any money held in trust in your name.