A person who has had their 19th birthday and the following 31 December has passed who enrols or is enrolled in a school. This excludes students who are considered to require special education under the Education Act 1989.
For example, if someone was at school and turned 19 years old on 31 March 2017, they will only be considered an adult learner for the period that they are enrolled at school from 2018 onwards.
A calendar year is the 12 month period from 1 January to 31 December.
The amount of fees-free entitlement learners have left over after their first calendar year of study. This amount can be used in future years.
Compulsory course costs
Compulsory course costs are the fees charged by a provider for a course, on top of tuition fees. These include examination fees, material charges, costs of field trips, costs associated with the compulsory purchase of equipment or books and other charges associated with a course. These fees are covered by Fees Free. You may still need to pay other optional and occasional fees.
Compulsory student services fees
Compulsory student services fees may be used by providers to support the delivery of student services such as health care and student support. These fees are covered by Fees Free.
How much fees-free entitlement learners have used.
The amount of fees-free entitlement a fees-free eligible learner is entitled to use.
Equivalent full-time student (EFTS)
We work out your study workload by using a measurement called EFTS. Usually, 0.125 EFTS is equivalent to 15 credits or points at a provider. One EFTS is usually equal to one year of full-time provider-based study.
The amount of fees-free entitlement (in dollars) a fees-free eligible learner is entitled to use.
Half a year of study or training
For fees-free, half a year of study or training is usually equal to 60 credits or 0.5 EFTS (see the definition for EFTS for more information).
Industry-based training refers to work-based training and apprenticeships done through an industry training organisation.
Industry training organisation (ITO)
Industry training organisations manage work-based training and apprenticeships.
National Student Number (NSN)
A National Student Number (NSN) is a unique number given to every learner. The NSN makes it easier to manage and share information about learners.
If you are planning to do provider-based study and don’t have a NSN, you will get one when you enrol with your provider.
If you are planning to do industry training and don’t have a NSN, you will get one when you enrol with your industry training organisation.
New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
The NZQF is a record of all qualifications in New Zealand that have been reviewed and approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The NZQF provides information about what knowledge, skills and experience the holder of a qualification should have.
You can find more about the NZQF and levels here.
Optional and occasional fees
These include (but are not limited to) student association and club memberships, some course materials and late fees. These fees are not covered by Fees Free.
Ordinarily resident means you normally and lawfully live in New Zealand, intend to stay here and consider New Zealand to be home.
A provider is any one of the following: an institute of technology, polytechnic, private training establishment, university, or wānanga.
Provider-based study is done through any one of the following: an institute of technology, polytechnic, private training establishment, university, or wānanga.
Refugee or protected person
According to Immigration New Zealand, broadly speaking a refugee is a person who:
- is outside of his or her home country or country of habitual residence
- faces a real chance of being harmed if returned to that country
- faces harm that is a sustained or systemic breach of a fundamental human right
- faces harm for reasons of who the person is, or what they believe. The reasons may be race (or ethnicity), religion, political opinion, nationality or membership of a particular social group (such as family status, gender, or sexual orientation or identity,. and
- needs and deserves protection in New Zealand.
A protected person is a person for whom there are substantial grounds for believing she or he would be in danger of torture, arbitrary deprivation of life or cruel treatment if deported from New Zealand.
Please see ‘Claiming Refugee and Protection Status in New Zealand’ (PDF, 0.4MB) for more information
Residence class visa
Holders of a residence class visa are able to live and work permanently in New Zealand. Australian citizens, Australian residents or Australian permanent residents living in New Zealand are automatically given a residence class visa.
When we refer to school we mean either a secondary school, high school, home school, or college.
School learning programme
Any study at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) that a learner participates in while enrolled in school where the school has approved that participation. The study may include tertiary education. It excludes study done for personal interest not arranged through a school.
Secondary tertiary programme
A full-time programme for a participating student that:
- consists of a secondary component and a tertiary component; and
- is co-ordinated by a provider group or a lead provider.
- Trades Academies
- Gateway, and
- the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR).
A sponsored person is someone who has had their visa or their application to be recognised as a refugee or protected person in New Zealand backed by an eligible person or organisation.
A statutory declaration is a written document that must be completed in front of an authorised witness. In New Zealand an authorised witness can be a:
- Justice of the Peace (JP) - Find a JP
- barrister or solicitor - Find a lawyer
- legal executive employed by a barrister or solicitor
- notary public - Find a notary public, or
- Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the District Court or the High Court - Find a District Court or High Court
Outside New Zealand, they include a:
- notary public
Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding
SAC is the dollar amount the Government pays towards the cost of teaching and learning services for learners enrolled at a tertiary education organisation (TEO). It is separate to the amount your TEO charges in fees and to your fees-free support.
Tertiary education refers to study at institutes of technology, polytechnics, private training establishments, universities, and wānanga (provider-based study) and industry or workplace-based training.
For individuals who may have studied overseas, tertiary education refers to all post-compulsory education and training, including vocational, technical, or academic pathways.
Tertiary organisations include:
- Private Training Establishments
- Industry Training Organisations
- Institutes of Technology
The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF), also known as free trades training, will support learners to undertake vocational education and training without fees.
The TTAF will cover fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022 and will be paid directly to tertiary education organisations (TEOs).
TTAF will make a range of training programmes at sub-degree level in targeted areas and all apprenticeships f ree for learners. It is targeted towards industry skill needs where demand from employers for these skills will continue to be strong, or is expected to grow, during New Zealand's recovery period from the impacts of COVID-19.
Visit the TEC website for further information.
Tuition fees are the fees charged by a provider for a course. These fees are covered by fees-free support.
Undertaken study and/or training
To have undertaken study or training, a learner has previously enrolled in tertiary education. For the purposes of Fees Free eligibility, this includes:
- study or training undertaken in New Zealand and overseas.
- part-time and full-time study or training
- workplace training and apprenticeships
- New Zealand study or training that pre-dates the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) or New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
- incomplete study or training, including where a learner withdrew after the refund period
- study or training that received a fail grade
- study or training as a domestic or international student
- study or training that had no fees associated with it, and
- study or training that you may have accessed a student loan for or paid yourself.
Withdrawing from study or training
A “withdrawal” is when a learner stops participating in a course, programme or training scheme (regardless of whether they have been refunded any fees), either:
- by providing notice to their organisation that they wish to withdraw participation, or
- as a result of non-attendance or non-participation for any reason.
A 2018 Starter is an eligible learner who used some or all of their fees-free entitlement in the 2018 calendar year.
This includes eligible learners who did training through Māori and Pasifika Trades Training in 2018.
A 2019 Starter is an eligible learner who used some or all of their fees-free entitlement in the 2019 calendar year.
This includes eligible learners who did training through Māori and Pasifika trades Training or undertook level 3 Youth Guarantee study in 2019.