National Student Number (NSN)

A National Student Number (NSN) is a unique number given to every student. The NSN makes it easier for secondary schools and government agencies (including NZQA and TEC) to manage and share information about students in a way that protects their privacy. If you’ve enrolled with an education organisation in New Zealand before, you’ll likely already have an NSN.

We need your NSN to determine your eligibility status for Fees Free, and to inform your tertiary education organisation about your eligibility.

If you do not know your NSN, please contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on 0800 697 296 for help.

If you do not have an NSN, your tertiary education organisation will create one for you when you enrol. You should read the Fees Free eligibility criteria to determine if you are eligible. If you meet the criteria, you will need to enrol with a tertiary organisation and come back to the Fees Free website with your NSN to confirm your eligibility status with the TEC.

Find out more about NSNs

New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF)

The NZQCF is a structure of all qualifications in New Zealand that have been reviewed and approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The NZQCF provides information about what knowledge, skills and experience the holder of a qualification should have, depending on the level of the qualification.

Find out more about the NZQCF and levels.

Fees Free covers courses, credentials and programmes at NZQCF Level 3 and above. Level 1 and 2 courses are often already free for learners.

The New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF) was previously known as the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).


Optional and occasional fees

These include (but are not limited to) student association and club memberships, late fees and course materials that you can buy outside of your tertiary education organisation. These fees are not covered by Fees Free.

Ordinarily resident

Ordinarily resident means you normally and lawfully live in New Zealand, intend to stay here and consider New Zealand to be home.

Generally, if you have been outside New Zealand for more than 26 weeks (6 months) in the last 12 months you may not be considered ordinarily resident in New Zealand. If you spend more time outside of New Zealand than inside it, you are also not considered to be ordinarily resident in New Zealand.