Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd is a government-funded institute. It is a progressive, vibrant, and tertiary-level educational institute that provides world-class learning. The institute’s objective is to build better worlds by empowering students. Ara Institute students are trained to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that come their way. The courses offered are relevant in helping students achieve these crucial aspects through inspirational mentors that provide real-life learning environments.

The staff at Ara Institute of Canterbury are talented, supportive, and very dedicated. In addition, the supportive community and innovative industry partners are among the major contributors that constitute the outcome of Ara Institute.  As a whole, the community remains committed to ensuring students of relevant industry knowledge, skills, and the experience needed in the job market. The learning curriculum and course content consistently evolve and respond to regional and industry needs. Students of Ara Institute gain real-world experience during their studies and develop into work-ready graduates. Ara Institute offers a dynamic workplace with many opportunities, apprenticeships, internships, and industry partnerships. The institute provides online part-time programs as well to blend with the demands of flexible study options. The education system at Ara Institute is structured to meet a low student-to-tutor ratio. With combined measures and comprehensive support services, Ara Institute students have the opportunity to discover their potential and grow in an inclusive, flexible, nurturing, and advanced study environment where “meaningful learning experiences are the norm.”

When Ara Institute graduates step out into the world, their qualifications would be relevant and internationally equipped. Since Ara Institute students are trained with valuable industry skills, it enables them to make quick industry connections and contribute to the fast-changing world.

Why Study At The Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd

  • At Ara Institute, students will not only gain knowledge-related skills but most importantly, they will be supported throughout their journey. These include a wide range of flexible study options, supportive whānau, expert tutors and inspiring mentors, learning by doing, being treated as an individual, being part of something special, becoming work-ready, and the ability to go places. A taste of joyous experiences and meaningful learning is what students can expect at the institute.
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury support students with learning or intellectual disability through courses equipped with valuable skills. The skills will enable students to become more independent and, at the same time, ensure a smoother transition into tertiary education.
  • Ara Institute adopts innovative technology in its teaching practice. The Institute actively seeks to use simulations, apps, virtual reality technology, apps, etc., to enhance students learning.
  • Ara Institute’s community study has a range of low-cost and free computing courses across its South Canterbury and Christchurch campuses. These courses include basic computer lessons, common programs, digital devices, and formal computing qualification courses.
  • The courses offered at Ara Institute are structured to fit flexible class times so that students can make ends meet between study and work, family, and other commitments. With the support of well-experienced tutors, students can study in the comfort of their own time.
  • At Ara Institute of Canterbury, students can gain course qualification faster through the prior learning and credit recognition service. Students with prior knowledge and experience in related fields of study who wish to acquire a formal qualification can attain this opportunity.

Employment and Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

At Ara Institute, students have the opportunity to improve their skills with a high-quality solution. The institute conducts development workshops for enhancing workplace groups and individuals. Essential aspects to help students meet their needs within this domain include conflict management, customer service, effective writing, effective leadership, creating and delivering effective presentations, and cultural competency. To achieve positive outcomes, Ara Institute partners with a variety of organizations and groups in the region. Ara takes great pride in its industry relationships as it works closely with individuals, organizations, and companies to create better employment pathways for students. These partnerships simultaneously grant Ara access to most resources and valuable information to strengthen the institution’s employability and career opportunities community. Ara has close relationships with are, The Tertiary Accord of New Zealand (TANZ), Metro, Tai Poutini, private training organizations, and sister institutions. These industry relationships allow students to enhance their learning, transfer technology, and develop research.

The Ara Careers and Employment team provides free advice to prospective students and graduates in exploring career options, developing employability, job search, interviews, CVs, and more.

Services and Facilities offered

Student Services

Ara Institute of Canterbury wants each student to realize their potential, study goals, gain skills, knowledge, and opportunities that support their future. The institute wants all students to take advantage of what it offers and ensures that they have the best time at Ara. Students who need guidance or advice can approach their tutor or any member of the Student Support Team. If tutors and Student Support Team members cannot provide direct help, they will give better suggestions. (At Ara, students have nothing to worry about what they invested because everything is taken care of)???. The institute’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Domestic Students ensures a positive learning experience and overall well-being.


Ara Institute has campuses in Christchurch, Timaru, Oamaru, and Ashburton. All these campuses have a range of accommodation options. Students can choose to stay in a flat, homestay, or private board. However, Ara encourages international students to stay with a family by choosing homestay as an option for accommodation. Homestay services include airport pick-up, a full inspection of homes, interviews with host families, police vetting of home families, an arrival ‘welcome pack,’ banking assistance, translators for assisting communication, and follow-up meetings to ensure a happy and comfortable stay. Besides, students can stay in hostels or other accommodation options.

Medical Services

The institute believes that health and well-being are two significant aspects of everyday life. Taking care of one’s health and well-being is considered the best approach for brilliant outcomes, and Ara Institute offers a range of health services to students at very affordable prices. Some of the support services available are Nursing Services, Healthcare, Student Advocacy, Support, Counselling, Osteopathic Clinic, The Zone: Sports Science and Wellness Centre, Nutrition Clinic, and the City Campus Sport and Recreation Centre.

Sports Facilities

To help create a healthy mind, Ara Institute believes in creating a healthy body. At Ara, there are many sporting and recreational opportunities for students who wish to get fit or simply want to have fun. Students can become gym members, take part in fitness classes, challenge on the purpose-built climbing wall, or improve their skills at the state-of-the-art facilities at The Zone if they are more serious athletes.

Library Services

Ara Institute has libraries on all campuses with an extensive range of resources and services that support learning, teaching, and research. Students and staff can find all resources through the Primo Library Search.

Campus Location