At ITENZ, we work to create a thriving PTE sector.

Established in 1991, we’re the nation’s largest PTE membership association, always here to give you a voice, represent your interests, and support you with expert advice across all aspects of tertiary learning.

Through our strong and trusted relationships with Government and other educational partners, we’ll help your organization grow today, and into the future.

Our key objectives


Championing your interests to Government and other important partners, and lobbying on your behalf.


Providing the latest information - both comprehensive and summarised - from Government and other relevant sources.


Keeping you in touch with the right people in Government, partner organisations, and fellow PTEs.


Helping you grow through webinars, conferences and individual educational support.


We work with Government to create a strong education sector and help your organisation grow.

The Association always seeks to work closely with the Minister, MPs and officials from the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

If you are a private tertiary educator and are not part of our organisation, you are warmly invited to join with us, communicating, negotiating and growing together.


PTEs provide supportive, safe learning environments that get you work ready with a recognised qualification.

New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA)-registered PTEs are highly regulated and quality assured. ITENZ member PTEs all subscribe to a Code of Ethics.

A wide range of specialist courses are available nationwide at ITENZ member PTEs.

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"...incredibly grateful for the support, collegiality, leadership and opportunities to influence decision-making at a Government level through the ITENZ senior team."

– Chris Berry, Executive Director, Carey Baptist College

"Apart from being a really effective network, ITENZ is an invaluable communications channel, by bringing our government stakeholders to us in roadshows and conference, and by representing the voice of PTEs to them at peak body meetings."

– Pieter Watson, Director, QED


Our history

Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ) was founded in 1991 as the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers (NZAPEP).

At that time very few private training establishments (PTEs) were receiving any funding for their students. The aims of the Association included providing members with a united PTE voice in discussion with the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, politicians and the Government.

Throughout the nineties steady lobbying was a major focus of ITENZ and results were evident when in 1992 the then National Government introduced limited funding for PTE students in certain categories of study.

New Government initiatives meant that 1999 was the “transitional” funding year with 2000 being the first year that private tertiary students were able to access funding for their courses equal to that of the public institutions’ students.

This meant that PTE students were at last able to play on a level funding field and were no longer discriminated against.

Since then, the PTE sector has grown considerably and as sector has become very diverse and widely dispersed.

In 2013, the name was changed to Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ) to better reflect the various ownership models that exist – private ownership, trusts, iwi-owned, or even divisions of large companies.

ITENZ has been there when its members needed it. During Covid, it worked closely with the Government, providing advice on areas affecting both domestic and international providers, their staff and their learners, and ensuring members were kept fully informed.

During the  Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) project, ITENZ advocated for PTEs, represented the sector on working parties, and kept its members up to date. It now sits on the Vocational Education Operational Leadership Group which will provide stewardship for the entire vocational education system into the future.

Today, ITENZ is a strong and highly-regarded membership association and peak body, regularly consulted by Government, closely engaged with all parts of the tertiary and vocational education system, and providing very beneficial services to members.