John’s Interview

Leaving NZ? share your exit interviews here

Leaving NZ? share your exit interviews here

My Swiss in-laws remark that Switzerland is the richest country in the world, but also the most expensive. However, they have not lived in New Zealand, the country that offers the least value for money of anywhere I have been! My wife and I did our sums on living in Switzerland compared to New Zealand. As a somewhat anal person with a background in investments, we meticulously keep track of every receipt and categorise it. We have been here for not even two months and we are thrilled to have escaped the incompetence, stupidity, corruption, extortionate living costs, and absence of professional opportunities in New Zealand. My wife is a Kiwi/Swiss who is Swiss citizen by descent and I am an American who moved to New Zealand three years ago after selling my business in the US.

At any rate, our monthly grocery bill in Switzerland came to slightly less than what we paid monthly in New Zealand! Admittedly, we buy most of our stuff from Aldi, a German discount grocery chain and then we buy some speciality things unavailable at Aldi at either Migros or Co-op, which are admittedly more expensive, but the quality of products would be impossible to find in New Zealand and the price is reasonable based on our earning power here.

Food is expensive in Switzerland compared to the rest of Europe because the government heavily subsidises farmers, wages are high, and rents for stores are expensive. Swiss farms are small (e.g. a Swiss farmer has a dozen cows compared to a few hundred for a New Zealand farmer) and the government wants to produce as much food domestically as possible should a war or international crisis prevent the importation of food, so it subsidises agriculture. The farming subsidies definitely increase prices, but I agree with the Swiss that having a domestic food supply is a matter of national security.

Anyway, I paid the following here when I went to the grocery store yesterday.

CHF 1.15 (NZ $1.55) for a litre of milk
CHF 5.99 (NZ $8.09) for a kg of honey
CHF 1.79 (NZ $2.41) for a kg of tangerines
CHF 1.49 (NZ $2.01) for a kg of bananas

Incidentally, the supermarket chain Aldi pays its employees a minimum wage of CHF 4,200 in Switzerland or CHF 54,600 (NZ $73,000) per year (You get paid double in December in Switzerland so it is x 13). For employees in Zurich, the minimum salary is CHF 4,600 per month. Here is the German article

The packaged products here are all generally cheaper than in New Zealand, but the products are high quality products that come from Switzerland, Germany, or Italy. It will no doubt amaze Kiwis that Aldi can pay its Swiss employees nearly triple what people earn at Countdown whilst charging lower prices and still manages to turn a tidy profit. Aldi is very efficient German company unlike Kiwi businesses comprised of busybody bogans.

You will see the supermarket employees in Switzerland work efficiently. If there are no customers, the people at the register stock shelves instead of blabber to each other about their cousin’s crazy girlfriend before they help the customer. Likewise, customers put a 2 Franc coin into the trolleys, which gets returned once they return the cart, so they do not have to pay a guy to push shopping trolleys. Kiwis always express indignation at automation or anything that improves a process believing incorrectly that reducing the need for physical labour produces unemployment. If this were the case, we should abolish machinery and all own little plots of land and start living as subsistence farmers. We would all be busily working acquiring the bare necessities with no time to do anything else.

You will notice that the job adverts here have very few openings for “managers”. I remember in New Zealand how an office of about twenty-five people was comprised of about sixteen managers and a CEO! At my wife’s company in Switzerland, they hardly have any managers. Not having an inordinate number of managers that “supervise” and produce very little means Swiss companies can pay people good wages. BTW, the median salary in Switzerland is CHF 6,000 per month, or CHF 78,000 per year (NZD $117,000) For illiterates, that means half the people earn more than NZD $117,000 per annum. You can get more detailed information confirming the information salaries for different professions, but you will have to know German, French, or Italian to follow it Many of the Swiss are highly specialised workers. Companies provide good apprenticeships or training programmes that match young people with the skills they need and suitable employment after they complete their training, hence unemployment is about 3% here. The tax system here rewards excellence and business. Cantons compete to lower taxes, so many large multinationals relocate to Switzerland or have a presence here. Businesses also want access to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, so many have substantial operations here.

Public transport here is very cheap and of far superior quality to New Zealand. In Wellington, I would have to pay NZ $3.88 per bus trip (with the discount card) for a short ride to work or NZ $155.20 per four weeks/month or NZ $1,862.40. The bus was often late or would break down regularly and I would use my car the rest of the time because the bus in my area only ran during commute times. In Zurich, you pay CHF 729 (NZ $984) per year and you can ride unlimited on all trains, trams, buses, and boats within the city. You literally only have to wait a few minutes at most for a train or tram to come. The trains, buses, and trams are on time 99% of the time, very new, and clean. In Switzerland, you just board the bus or train with your ticket or card. The train crew or transit police occasionally check to see if you have a valid ticket in addition to your Swiss ID or relevant residence permit for foreigners. If you do not have a valid ticket, they issue a huge fine. However, not checking everyone’s ticket every single time makes things more efficient and quicker. I remember how much time ended up wasted for someone fumbling for change etc on the bus or the silliness of having several people standing around to sell train tickets on the Wellington trains. Here, they have machines and people are honest, so they pay. If not, they do end up getting caught during the random spot checks.

My wife and I have an annual GA card, which allows us unlimited use of all the public transport in Switzerland (trains, buses, trams, boats) for an entire year. She is under 25 and I get the partner discount, so we pay CHF 5,000 (NZ $6,750) for two people. Otherwise, you pay CHF 3,400 (NZ $4,590) for full price for one person. At any rate, we do day trips around Switzerland on weekends, which is awesome. You can go skiing, hiking, visit Christmas markets, go to old cities and towns on weekends in contrast to New Zealand where many people will not drive the car on weekend because the petrol is expensive. We take maximum advantage of the GA card and we have so much to do here compared to New Zealand. We can go to listen to music, watch sports, or check out a ballet.

As for housing, we move into our new apartment on 1 January. We will pay CHF 1,230 per month (NZ $1,660) for a 78 square metre apartment in a town about twenty-five minutes by train from the centre of Basel. In Wellington, the cost for our 90 square metre house In Broadmeadows was NZ $475 per week or about NZ ($2,058 per month), which takes about the same time to get to by bus or fifteen minutes by car. The difference is that our apartment has actual parquet and tiled floors rather than the unsanitary cheap carpet of New Zealand, a large refrigerator, proper tiles in the bathroom, and a kitchen that would be hard to find in New Zealand. Most importantly, we have central heating, so my poor wife no longer has to freeze in winter.

Utilities are very cheap here. I have not had an electricity bill, but my wife’s Swiss relatives were horrified at New Zealand prices. Fortunately, Switzerland has nuclear plants, which is taboo amongst anti-science and technology crowd in New Zealand but help produce cheap electricity. Telephone, Internet, and television are very cheap. You can get an entry-level package in Switzerland for CHF 89 per month (NZ $120) that provides you with unlimited calls within Switzerland, unlimited Internet, and 140 channels

Taxes in Switzerland are much lower than in New Zealand and it is hard to compare because different cantons and municipalities tax differently. However, a married man earning CHF 100,000 (NZ $135,000) with two children will pay between 2.6% and 10.7% actual tax rate. I would also add the other compulsory insurances (unemployment insurance, state pension, accident insurance, which add another 10%. This would still bring the actual tax rate to between 12.6% and 20%, which is still much lower than New Zealand. VAT here is 8% compared to 15% GST in New Zealand.

The social safety net is fabulous. If you become unemployed in Switzerland, you receive 70% of your previous pay capped at about CHF 100,000 per year, meaning you can get up to about CHF 70,000 for one year. However, they cut off your insurance after one year, so there is less of a benefit underclass than in New Zealand.

You must buy your own private health insurance here. We have the very basic plan, which is about CHF 400 (NZ $540) per month for two people. This covers doctor’s visits, hospitalisation, and free births. If we have surgery, we pay the first CHF 2,500, but no one ends up with a catastrophic medical bill like in the US. The quality is superb. My wife had to have an emergency appendectomy and the quality she received was superb. The hospital food was proper food, unlike the crap made in the US, UK, New Zealand, and other English-speaking countries that do not know the value of a good meal. The medical system is 100% private, except the government will help you pay for your health insurance if you are too poor to afford the premiums. The physicians and nurses were superb. They actually communicate with you and methodically explain what they intend to do. They come across as much sharper than the New Zealand doctors I have met.

We plan to have children in about two years, so we researched the schools. My wife went to a local Swiss school as part of her job induction. The facilities were superb and teachers receive excellent pay here. The average Swiss person knows 2 or 3 languages well, unlike the average Kiwi who does not even know his mother tongue properly. Switzerland was number one in Europe on the PISA results. The education system is very practical. For example, if you are not academically gifted, you start learning a trade at about 15. The schools segregate older kids according to ability, so there are separate tracks for people and gifted kids do not end up stunted. However, university attendance is not that high, as most people do apprenticeships that match young people with skills and employers. In New Zealand, the focus is on putting everyone through university. Consequently, most kids receive a pseudo intellectual education that is far below the standard of a proper university trajectory, so they do not actually learn anything useful. They also do not learn anything useful if they are less academic. Kids in New Zealand pay high prices for university, but cannot find jobs because they have learned nothing useful in New Zealand’s subpar academic institutions. In Switzerland, tuition is about CHF 1,500 per year (NZ $2,025). However, admission criteria are strict, so only top students go to university. The universities also focus extensively on business, engineering, and hard sciences, unlike New Zealand where the university education lacks rigour and students learn useless things, usually socialism masquerading as academic research in soft disciplines like the humanities. I happen to love the humanities, but they have suffered so much dumbing down.

Lastly, the professional opportunities are superb. My wife found a job earning triple her New Zealand salary within a week of landing here in late October working for a multinational. She has moved up considerably in terms of pay and responsibility.

I have not found a job yet, as the job market dies at the end of the year because no one wants to leave their job before the Christmas 13th month pay and companies generally do not recruit. However, I have spoken to a couple people in my profession, who said I should find something easily earning top money early next year. I am not too concerned and I expect to resume a proper career trajectory that took a tumble in New Zealand. While my wife works, I have been organising the new apartment, buying furniture, searching for a job, sorting out all the little logistical things, and posting on E2NZ!

At any rate, we are thrilled to have left New Zealand and we are not looking back. I just wanted to post this to encourage other migrants that are stuck. I know most other countries do not offer the phenomenal opportunities that Switzerland has, but there is life outside New Zealand. Even an expensive place like Switzerland is still cheaper and provides much better value than New Zealand in so many respects. My wife and I are looking forward to having our children here and raising them in Europe where having an intellect or drive is not a crime. We are also so close to so many places and things, so we will be doing a great deal of travelling.

My advice to migrants that are stuck in New Zealand is to cut their losses and leave. I also recommend the same to the intelligent and industrious Kiwis to take them and their skills with them overseas. New Zealand is a land of parasites that survives, in part, by lying and fooling credulous migrants and tourists into coming there. The best way to rectify the situation is to rid the parasites of their hosts.

We are thrilled to have escaped New Zealand and we are both very grateful to the person or people that run E2NZ. I hope that many of you avoid making a colossal mistake by coming to New Zealand.

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11 thoughts on “John’s Interview

  1. NZ is plagued with incompetence. There are too many butchers trying to do the job of surgeons, it is reflective in the way this country works. The so called CEO’s of companies are as clueless, as the incompetent staff underneath them. Merely trying to get by, with zero motivation to succeed. This place is rigged for failure. I am getting out of here in six months in my family, had enough of this.

  2. @carpentaro: It is more than just the money for me. I find that New Zealand has nothing superlative enough to justify paying a Swiss cost of living for a sub-first world lifestyle and living conditions. The scenery is nice in New Zealand, but I can find equally incompetent governments in places with equally nice scenery such as Latin America where I could earn good money. Similarly, I could return to the US and have my kids in an equally dysfunctional education system as in New Zealand, but pay one third for better housing.
    I hope that you are able to get out soon.

    • I agree, it is not all about the $. There are other places that can offer equal to or better standards of living, AND a higher wage. So, the overall quality can be improved [less grinding, scraping by…].
      The cost of: housing, energy, services [cell phone, internet…], food, goods, is disproportionatly high to what are normal wage expectations. A bit of cushion would make things less dire.

  3. Thanks for your interesting feedback to my post. Let me address some of the points you have made.

    Admin: I agree that having the option of shopping at Aldi is nice if you’re on a tight budget. It looks like NZ is missing similar deep discount stores. The average price for 1 liter of petrol was CHF 1.60 (NZD 2.28) in 2014, 1 liter of milk ranges from CHF 1.10 (NZD 1.57) to CHF 1.80 (NZD 2.50), depending on the quality.

    Safefromnewzealand: Living in a tax haven at CHF 130,000 a year, you’re certainly to do better in Switzerland than you would in NZ. However, it would be wrong to take your situation as the norm. While living in Bern, me and my wife both made CHF 150,000 a year. As you know, about 10% of gross salary is deducted directly by the employer, which left us with a combined income of CHF 270,000 before taxes.

    Since we were living in a CHF 1.2 million house I inherited from my parents (which is not expensive for a detached property in Switzerland), the tax authorities added CHF 42,000 of fictional income to our tax bill for the deemed rental value (Eigenmietwert in German). This left us with an income tax bill of CHF 96,000, or a real rate of 36%. On top of that, we paid close to CHF 10,000 in wealth tax, which brings the real tax rate to almost 40%. Feel free to to run my numbers through the official tax calculator and see for yourself:

    A salary of CHF 150,000 converts to NZD 214,000, which NZ would tax at NZD 61,540, a real rate of 29%. Considering that the cost of living is 35% less in NZ compared to CH (check numbeo if you don’t believe me), it would be more appropriate to convert CHF 150,000 to NZD 139,000, which is taxed at NZD 36,820. Hence a married couple with a decent house and making NZD 139,000 each is saving almost NZD 78,000 in taxes compared to Switzerland (CHF 106,000 = NZD 151,428 – 2 * NZD 36,820 = NZD 77,788).

    Beware: I’m not claiming that everyone making a gross salary of CHF 150,000 in Bern could get a job that pays NZD 139,000 in Auckland. Hence my bottom line remains the same: it depends on your personal situation and priorities if a move to NZ makes sense or not. Finally, if you’re able to save tens of thousands in taxes, other factors such as grocery prices are just peanuts in comparison.

    One final remark about the quality of schooling: Swiss schools are quite good in my opinion. However, you’d be hard pressed to find a lot of people in Switzerland who are proficient in three languages. About 80% of students get no more than 4 years of training in French and English. The other 20% are the ones pursuing a higher education. My English skills are reasonable because I spent several months at a language school in the US and completed a 5 year PhD program in an English speaking environment.

    • @Marco: I can imagine that your taxes would be considerably higher in Bern compared to where I live. Switzerland seems gear itself to where the man works and the woman stays at home, which suits us well, but might not be for everyone. I am aware on the tax on owner occupied property, which I find horribly unjust.
      I know a Swiss person living in New Zealand who loves the fact that he can own a lifestyle block comprising a few hectares outside of Tauranga for NZ$500,000, something that would be impossible in Switzerland. Even the superrich on Lake Zug do not have so much land due to the lack of space in Switzerland. Having said that, I would not want to live in his Kiwi house in New Zealand during winter.
      One factor that you should keep in mind about New Zealand is that the NZD is at historically high levels. When things regress to the mean, I would expect the NZD to be significantly lower than it is now, which is necessary for tax d salary comparisons. I also imagine that you must have taken a sizeable pay cut to live in New Zealand. New Zealand does not value people with skills and pays them peanuts, which is why the enterprising and capable Kiwis all emigrate. The overwhelming majority of skilled migrants take a pay cut to go to New Zealand, something I hope is not the case with you.
      I hope things work out for you after the honeymoon phases passes. I still believe that one can obtain the benefits of living in New Zealand (space, beaches, access to water and land) for much less. It might take some time, but I think you will discover the ugly underbelly of New Zealand one day.
      BTW, there is a little known tax loophole in New Zealand that allows recent migrants not to pay any tax on foreign sourced income for investments for the first four years. This might be worthwhile if you still have the second pillar in Switzerland or other foreign income.
      Lastly, I think the Swiss are very good at languages, although there is a range. I encounter some Swiss people that know no foreign languages and struggle with High German, whereas I know others that know several languages well. I respect the Swiss in the sense that they are efficient and accomplish what they set out to do, which is the opposite of the Kiwis.

  4. @Marco: I am going to assume that you are not a troll and that your representation as someone that lived in Switzerland for 40 years and migrated to New Zealand is accurate, although I have some doubts particularly based on your arguments that “things are worse elsewhere or Switzerland has problems too” line of reasoning. Here are some of the points where I differ with you.

    Taxes: Marginal income tax rates in NZ reach 30% at only NZD $48,000 of income and 33% at NZ $70,000. Additionally, homeowners in New Zealand directly pay several thousand dollars in local council rates or indirectly via higher rents. Similarly, one pays NZ $219 tax on insurance policies to fund EQC and an additional fire service levy to fund the fire department. There are also the “voluntary” school fees that parents in New Zealand and end up paying at the schools. It cost me nothing to migrate to Switzerland as the spouse of a Swiss whereas the same migration route cost me a couple thousand dollars in New Zealand. Switzerland also does not actively promote itself or misrepresent itself to migrants the way New Zealand does.

    Taxes vary by canton and municipality in Switzerland. However, I find the taxes significantly lower in Switzerland. I pay about 20% real tax rate (taxes, social contributions, and other fees that are really taxes) on an income of CHF 130,000, a rate that is much lower than in New Zealand, although admittedly I live in the so-called fiscal paradise of central Switzerland. I could never earn that sort of income in New Zealand or support my wife and a family there, as I could in Switzerland.

    Rents: Rents are expensive in Switzerland, although more reasonable than in New Zealand when factoring the quality and wages. The going rate in our building for what would be a 3 bed, 2 bath, 100 sqm apartment is CHF 2,000 per month with parking place. The building is quite new, modern, and in a reasonably good area. You can definitely find reasonable deals when shopping around and when one is willing to be somewhat outside of Zurich. Rates in Zurich city are extremely high and I would not want to live in the city itself with a family based on cost and lack of space.

    Health: I agree with your description of the health insurance, although the quality of the hospitals, health care employees, and facilities is far better in Switzerland than in New Zealand. My wife and I have the most bare bone plan (CHF 2,500 deductible) from the cheapest provider of the compulsory basic plan and we pay CHF 310 per month for the two of us. The cost for kids is extremely low and prenatal care and deliveries do not incur the deductible, which is important for young families.

    Groceries: I think the grocery prices are about the same in Switzerland compared to New Zealand when paying like for like, but salaries in Switzerland are three times higher. Aldi and Lidl are the discount grocery chains, but they are much nicer places on the inside compared to a Pack N’ Save in New Zealand. Aldi does not have tremendous variety or premium goods, but we still do about half our shopping there and go to Coop or Migros for the better products.

    Your comment about Aldi is somewhat inaccurate. Aldi carries a fair number of Swiss groceries, although the non-grocery products are primarily imports. The quality of the manufactured goods is much better than what is available at The Warehouse in New Zealand, all of which comes from China and other countries with extremely low labour costs and where people earn much less than they do in eastern Europe. Sometimes the products at Aldi are the same or even better than the equivalent at Migros or Coop, something documented by a Swiss consumer affairs show.

    If you look at what good quality cheeses from Europe cost in Switzerland versus New Zealand you will see that the price is identical. Things like bread are cheaper in New Zealand, but the bread is quite bad in quality and nothing like the freshly baked bread from Coop and Migros. The milk is far better in New Zealand thanks to cows that eat on the pastures year round, but much of the other products are lower in quality than in Switzerland.

    Lastly, I very much doubt that you would have been able to learn a foreign language growing up in New Zealand the way you learned English in Switzerland. Your English is probably better compared to most native English speakers in New Zealand thanks to the appallingly poor education system, anti-intellectualism, and the “let’s not try hard” attitude of the public and the children. I speak three languages fluently, just as do many Swiss, and I enjoy being in a place where people are not as dumb or uneducated as they are in New Zealand. New Zealand is a stultifying environment that is usually only a good fit for white trash migrants that exhibit the same mindset as the locals. I am certainly not implying that is the case with you, but you will see the ugly underbelly of the country documented on this site with more time.

    New Zealand does have some nice scenery and it is easy to go to places without many people compared to Switzerland. However, one can do this in other parts of the world for much less money and/or for better competence and governance. I think New Zealand oversells itself, which is why so many migrants leave within several years just as I did.

    • ” could never earn that sort of income in New Zealand”.
      This is a big one. With all other things being equal, the income potential in NZ does not make up for the cost of living. So, dollar [or franc] for dollar, if costs are about equal for goods and services, then income is signifacantly lower in NZ. When I left the States, it was easy to get a job, in my field, at $25-30/ hr, with the high end being up to $45 USD.
      Same field, the pay scale, in NZ [when we first moved] was $18-20 with a high of 25-30 NZD.
      Same or higher [sometimes, quite a bit higher] cost of living with a lower earning potential = a overall higher cost of living and a worse quality of living.

  5. I was born in Switzerland and have lived there for 40 years before recently moving to Auckland. Whereas John makes some valid points especially when it comes to the quality of public transportation, housing and healthcare in Switzerland, some of his assessments are inaccurate.

    Let’s start with taxes: As a couple, one has to file jointly, which significantly increases the marginal tax rate. Once household income reaches CHF 250,000 a year, the marginal tax rate can exceed 42% depending on the canton of residence. Additionally, numerous levies are imposed on top, such as the mandatory fee for national public broadcasting services, fire service tax, church tax and waste disposal fees for example. Some of these levies are income dependent, hence a couple making more than CHF 250,000 can expect to shell out several thousand Swiss Francs in addition to their regular taxes.

    Then let’s not forget wealth tax that is raised at annual rates of up to 1% on the value of all assets, including houses for example. Furthermore, homeowners are required to pay income tax on a notional rental value for the home they use themselves. This notional value is called “deemed rental value” and is on average 70% of the potential market rent. For a landed suburban house in the Zurich area, the deemed rental value easily exceeds CHF 40,000 per year. At the 42% marginal tax rate, this translates to CHF 17,000 in additional income tax.

    Next, let’s have a closer look at rents. They vary considerably by region, and it seems to me that John got an extremely good deal for his place. I used to live in an 80 sqm. 2 bedroom apartment 30 minutes from Zurich at CHF 3’500 per month, which translates to NZD 1,080 per week. I agree with John however, that the quality of buildings in Switzerland is light years ahead of New Zealand’s.

    When it comes to health insurance, I would like to mention that the plan John describes is the minimum coverage everyone living in Switzerland is required to get by law. The first CHF 2,500 spent on health services each year are to be paid by the insurance holder directly. For the next CHF 7’000, the patient’s contribution is reduced to 10%. Thereafter, health costs are completely covered by the insurer. So in the worst case, one would spend CHF 3,200 on top of one’s insurance premium. More luxurious plans that guarantee private rooms at hospitals and treatment by head physicians easily exceed CHF 8’000 per year. Finally, the cost of health insurance goes up with age alongside a general annual increase of 3-5%.

    As far as groceries are concerned, prices are definitely higher in Switzerland than in New Zealand on average. Most products sold by Aldi are made in eastern Europe where factory workers are paid less than CHF 500 a month. The fact Aldi pays their Swiss workers at their (understaffed) shops a decent wage is little more than a publicity stunt in hope to increase acceptance for their “greed is great” philosophy. To pick an item from John’s shopping list: 500g of Swiss made honey sells at CHF 14.50 (NZ$ 19.50) at Migros, which is by far the most popular retailer in the country.

    Bottom line: On an average income, living in Switzerland may be cheaper than in New Zealand thanks to subsidies paid for by higher earners in the form of taxes. New Zealand may not be the place to go to advance your career and amass a fortune as an employee, but it’s a great place to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor and adopt a different pace of life.

  6. Interesting you should say ‘Kids in New Zealand pay high prices for university, but cannot find jobs because they have learned nothing useful in New Zealand’s subpar academic institutions’, As I have found it frustrating that NZQA look down on European degrees and often downgrade your degree in their assessment compared to the NZ equivalent. I know a girl who studied engineering at Cambridge and had her 2.1 downgraded to a NZ level 6 (from an outstanding Hons degree, to a diploma). Once I started working here I soon found out their engineers have a small fraction of the knowledge the German, Dutch and English degree qualified engineers I have worked with. A strange nation indeed.

    • It’s not for nothing that New Zealand continues to slide down the league table of international university rankings. Maybe New Zealand’s solution to this is to deliberately downgrade other country’s degrees in comparison to its own? It’s easier to discredit foreign academic institutions than to invest in and improve its own.

      from Concerns over NZ universities failure to rank

      More investment needs to go into the country’s universities if they’re to move higher up a list ranking the world’s institutions, the head of Auckland University says.

      New Zealand universities have failed to rank among the world’s most prestigious 100 institutions as rated by top international scholars.

      The Times Higher Education reputation rankings, released today, were based on the world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey.

      The rankings showed American and British universities remained highly rated by top scholars, while Asian universities were becoming increasingly well-regarded.

      New Zealand had never rated in the top 100.

      The top-ranked New Zealand university, the University of Auckland, had slipped from about 150 to about the 200 mark.

      Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said it was a “concern” that universities here were slipping down the rankings.

      “The main thing that correlates with rankings is the level of investment that a country makes in its university systems.”

      Universities here operated with the lowest income or expenditure per student in the world, which was a problem in resourcing, Professor McCutcheon said.

      Five Australia universities made the top 100 list.

      “What you find is the Australian universities have a higher level of government investment, they have higher levels of student fees, they have higher levels of research funding, they have higher levels of industry investing in research in the institutions, they have higher levels of philanthropy.”

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