What was the eligibility criteria in 2018?

If you’re a New Zealander who finished school in 2017, or if you will finish school during 2018, you qualify for a year of fees-free provider-based tertiary education or two years of industry training in 2018.

If you’re not a recent school leaver, and you’ve done less than half a year of tertiary education or training (whether in New Zealand or in any other country), you may also be eligible.

Learner criteria for provider-based study

To be eligible for fees-free study with a university, institute of technology or polytechnic, wānanga or private training establishment, you must:

  1. be a New Zealand citizen, or
  2. be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and either:
    1. have been living in New Zealand for at least 3 years while holding a residence class visa, or
    2. be a refugee or protected person, or
    3. be sponsored into New Zealand by someone in your family who, at the time you were sponsored, was a refugee or protected person, and
  3. not be enrolled in a school at the start date of the course or programme, and
  4. not have previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education or 0.5 EFTS) at level 3 or above on the NZQF, including tertiary education at an equivalent level in any other country. This excludes any tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in a secondary school.

You must also be studying an eligible qualification, course or programme.

Learner criteria for industry-based training

To be eligible for fees-free industry-based training, you must:

  1. be legally employed in New Zealand
  2. not be currently enrolled in a school at the start date of the programme
  3. not have previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education or 0.5 EFTS) at level 3 or above on the NZQF, including tertiary education at an equivalent level in any other country. This excludes any tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in a secondary school.

You must also enrol in an eligible industry training programme.

Qualification, course and programme criteria

To be eligible for fees-free, a qualification, course or programme must be:

  1. starting in 2018
  2. funded by the Tertiary Education Commission
  3. recognised by either the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or Universities New Zealand
  4. at Level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, and
  5. for industry training only, be at least 120 credits.

Unsure of some of these terms? Check out our glossary.