Tuition fees at New Zealand universities are among the highest in the world, according to a new report.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest edition of Education at a Glance looks at education across 42 locations.

The report analysed education at all levels in 34 OECD member countries as well as Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation and South Africa in 2008 and 2009.

New Zealand had the seventh-most expensive tuition fees for universities, with entrants paying more than $3600 a year.


United States universities top the list, charging more than $7300 every year and Korea, United Kingdom and Japan fill out the top four.

Tertiary Education Union president Dr Sandra Grey said the Kiwi rates indicate the tug between the state versus students paying for education fees.

"This is the trade-off between how much we feel students should contribute to their own education and how much we're prepared as taxpayers and as a Government to put into those institutions."

The report also showed Kiwis are flocking to some form of further training. New Zealand had the fourth highest entry levels into university or vocationally-orientated tertiary education.

"We've had a big push in New Zealand for what is loosely called a mass tertiary market model which is the right of open entry so people do, if they want, have the opportunity to study," said Dr Grey.

Women are dominating the tertiary system, and make up the majority of students and graduates in the OECD. The report showed women tend to populate the education, health, welfare, humanities and arts fields, while men were the majority in engineering, manufacturing and construction fields.

The number of international students coming here to study at university rose 2 per cent, but Australia, Canada, France, Germany, US and the UK continue to attract more than half the world's students.

Top 10 Most Expensive Tuition Fees
1. United States
2. Korea
3. UK
4. Japan
5. Australia
6. Canada
7. New Zealand
8. Netherlands
9. Portugal
10. Italy