18-Year-Olds with Level 2

This is the main index page for 18-year-olds with a minimum of NCEA level 2 or equivalent. From here you can access 18-year-olds’ attainment data and analysis based on the data.

Key Findings: Data, Statistics and Publications


Data are generally made available as simple spreadsheets, but, interactive dashboards may be available and/or pivot tables to allow users to create their own tables.


Established measures used to determine how well a result has been achieved in a particular area of interest.  For example, the rate of a level 2 qualification helps quantify how many of our youth have an opportunity for further education or employment.

Know Your Region

An online tool where you can find education data for different regions or territorial authority.  Using this tool you can access data on student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Monitoring Publications

Significant monitoring publications are produced each year. These tend to focus on specific education sector, priority population group, and/or an education strategy related to one of these sectors or groups. Key measures such as 18-year-olds with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 or equivalent are used in these publications.

Why is the Ministry collecting this data?

Attainment data are core information required for monitoring the performance of the education system.  The Ministry uses 18-year-olds’s attainment data:

  • to monitor the results of the New Zealand education system
  • to support policy analysis
  • for national and international reporting

18-year-olds’ attainment data are also used for general research and statistics, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993. This may include linking 18-year-olds’ attainment data with other student data, for example, tertiary enrolment data, for research on the different progression paths to tertiary and workplace-based learning.  Care is taken that no individual can ever be identified from published analysis.

The Measures

The measure is the proportion of 18-year-olds with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 or equivalent.  A level 2 qualification is a schooling level qualification.  It is considered a basic prerequisite for higher education and training and many entry-level jobs.

This data collection includes the number of 18 year-olds by demographics (for example, gender, and ethnicity) and sector dimensions (for example, highest attainment, and where attainment was completed).

The data collection is particularly useful as it combines learning from schooling, workplace, and tertiary settings.

The Data Source

Eighteen year-olds have been defined as a cohort born in a specific calendar year; for example, 1993.  This particular cohort turned 18 in 2011.  It is the earliest cohort that can be assessed as it coincides with the introduction of collection of unit record information electronically from schools.

Eighteen year-olds are identified through the ENROL system.  The 18-year-olds had to have attended school in New Zealand on or after their 15th birthday.

Confirmation of attaining at least level 2 is from, the school leaver data collection, directly from schools, NZQA or TEC.

Other School Attainment Data

Other commonly used schooling attainment collections are:

  • School leaver data.  This captures the highest attainment of school leavers.  It also forms the basis of measures of school retention, Vocational Awards, and transition to tertiary education.
  • Enrolment-based NCEA attainment data.  This data collection only looks at school students that study NCEA; which is the vast majority of school students.  It looks at attainment in relation to the year level the students are studying at.

Related Pages

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Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email:      Requests EDK
Phone:    +64 4 463 8065