Learners must meet prior study criteria to ensure that they can get fees-free.

The prior study criteria requires that a learner must be:

  • a New Zealander or ordinarily resident in New Zealand; and
  • a recent secondary school leaver; or
  • not a recent secondary school leaver but have undertaken less than half a year of tertiary study or training.

The following credits aren’t included in measures of prior tertiary education:

  • any tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult student); and
  • any tertiary courses undertaken as part of the learner's school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019; and
  • any credits achieved as part of an industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.

Prior study

All prior tertiary enrolments are considered, including:

  • part-time and full-time study or training
  • workplace training and apprenticeships
  • New Zealand study or training that pre-dates the NZQA or NZQF
  • incomplete study or training, including where a learner withdrew prior to the end of the course or programme
  • study or training that received a fail grade, and
  • study or training undertaken in New Zealand and overseas.

For more information, check the FAQ section here.

If you're unsure about your prior study, contact us.