STAR programme

Secondary school students in Year 11, 12 or 13 may be able to take one or two university courses while still at school.

To be considered for the STAR programme you must have support from your secondary school and have a high level of academic achievement at NCEA Level 2 or above.

STAR courses workload

A STAR course of study usually comprises one or two 100-level university courses in the academic year worth 15 or 20 points each. You can expect the workload for each course to be around 10-12 hours per week.

You will complete the courses while studying at secondary school. The number of courses you can take are limited to allow time to manage your normal schoolwork.

STAR funding

  • STAR students normally have their fees partially funded by their school (who receive funding for this via the Ministry of Education). It is up to each secondary school to determine how they allocate their STAR funding.
  • Not all secondary schools are approved for STAR funding. Students need to discuss this with their school to check whether STAR is an option.
  • Course fees for STAR students will be discounted to two-thirds of the domestic fees. Costs vary according to the points value and subject area of the course.

Application process

  • Apply online by the deadline.
  • When asked to select your programme in your admission application, select ‘pre-degree’ as the level and the ‘STAR programme’ from the programme list.
  • Ensure you provide the name and contact for your secondary school STAR coordinator when prompted.
  • Complete the STAR Contractpdf46.2KB —this includes a recommendation which is to be completed by your school adviser.
  • Upload the required documentation to support your application (i.e. STAR contract, certified copies of your birth certificate or passport and any recommendations) or email them to
  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an Offer of Place.

If you have any questions about the STAR programme, email