Summer Start Programme FAQs

What is the Summer Start Programme?

Summer Start is a six-week programme that provides school-leavers with the opportunity to gain credits towards their degree and start their university journey early.

If you're a Year 13 student planning to study at university in Semester One 2024, this is a great opportunity to experience life at the University.

What is included in the Summer Start Programme?

  • Enrolment in one credit-bearing course to help give you a head-start in your university studies.
  • Access to Summer Start leaders who will provide academic, pastoral and social support throughout the programme.
  • Additional tutoring and study skill sessions to enable you to kick-start your University journey with an academic win!
  • Orientation to both the University and Auckland city.
  • Accommodation options in our catered halls of residence.
  • Future leadership opportunities for students in the Summer Start programme.
  • Study, tutorial and hangout spaces.
  • Fun activities such as sports and quizzes to introduce you to university life.

Is there a cost for Summer Start Programme?

Domestic students who are eligible for the New Zealand Government's Fees-Free Tertiary Education initiative will be able to participate in the Summer Start Programme at no personal cost.

Otherwise, standard international and domestic tuition and student services fees apply to courses within the Summer Start programme.

What is the difference between Summer School and Summer Start?

Summer School is for existing University students, not school-leavers, who are looking to get ahead on their degree, catch-up on unsatisfactory performance in a previous semester, or spread their workload. Students from other tertiary institutions can also study in Summer School, and courses may be credited back to their degree at their home institution.

Summer Start is a specific programme designed for school-leavers. It lets them earn credits towards their degree, experience our campus and get started on their academic journey. The focus for Summer Start is not just on academic preparation. It also includes free, fun social and cultural activities outside of class time to help students settle into life on campus and meet new people.

What is the difference between Summer Start and Summer Start International?

Summer Start and Summer Start International both aim to increase students’ preparedness and success at university. The key differences are the associated programme fees.

Fees for International students currently in New Zealand and who are about to graduate from a New Zealand high school or foundation programme are in line with the University’s schedule of undergraduate fees for international students.

Fees for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are in line with the University’s schedule of undergraduate fees for domestic students. Domestic students who are eligible for the New Zealand Government's Fees-Free Tertiary Education initiative will be able to participate in the Summer Start Programme at no personal cost.

What are the dates for Summer Start and Summer Start International?

Both programmes commence Wednesday 3 January 2024 and end on Wednesday 14 February 2024.  

Can I participate even if I intend to go to another institution in Semester 1 2024?


Can I participate in Summer Start if I have not yet found out if I achieved University Entrance (UE)?

Yes, we understand that Summer Start programme will commence in advance of the final secondary school results (NCEA/CIE/IB) being published and we are enabling eligible students to participate in advance of having achieved UE.

What happens if I participate in Summer Start but my secondary school results (NCEA/Cambridge International/IB) come out and I have not achieved UE?

For students whose secondary school results (NCEA/CIE/IB) indicate they have not achieved UE, the Summer Start Team will work with the student on appropriate options to help them continue their tertiary studies, which could include pathway programmes. Students will be able to complete the Summer Start programme.

I’m not sure I’m ready to attend University. Why should I give Summer Start a go?

Summer Start enables eligible* students to attend University and take one credit bearing paper over a seven week period, rather than four credit bearing papers over a semester (12 weeks). You can experience University while using a limited amount of your Fees Free Study, connect with peers, Summer Start Leaders and staff who can support you to decide your next steps. Summer Start is an opportunity to see if university is a good fit for you while having fun in a supportive environment.

*The Summer Start programme is free for New Zealand school leaver students who meet the eligibility requirements of the New Zealand government’s Fees Free tertiary education initiative.

What is a General Education course?

General Education is designed to complement and broaden your education.

Learn more about General Education for undergraduate students.

As a school-leaver, can I do Summer School instead of Summer Start?

No. Summer Start has been specifically designed to enable school-leavers to have an early entry pathway into the university and to assist in preparing them for academic success.