A programme is a set of learning, training and assessment activities designed by an education provider. Completion of a programme leads to the award of a qualification. Programmes are made up of components such as courses, papers, modules or standards.


A provider is any one of these: Te Pūkenga, a private training establishment, a university, or a wānanga.

Provider-based study

Provider-based study is study done on-campus or online with a tertiary education organisation.


Refugee or protected person

According to Immigration New Zealand, broadly speaking:

A refugee is a person who:

  • is outside of their home country or country of habitual residence
  • faces a real chance of being harmed if returned to that country
  • needs and deserves protection in New Zealand.

The harm faced is a sustained or systemic breach of a fundamental human right, and it is 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).

A protected person is a person:

  • whose deportation from New Zealand would violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment 1984 (Convention against Torture) and/or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR).
  • for whom there are substantial grounds for believing they would be in danger of torture, arbitrary deprivation of life or cruel treatment if deported from New Zealand.

The Immigration New Zealand website outlines situations where New Zealand is not obliged to protect a person.

For more information, please see Information for asylum seekers.

Residence class visa

Holders of a residence class visa are able to live and work in New Zealand.

A residence class visa is not limited to permanent residency visas.

See a full list of residence class visas on the Immigration NZ website.

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, or home education.

School learning programme

Any study at Level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF) 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.

For example:

  • Trades Academies
  • Gateway
  • the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR).

Visa applications can be sponsored by individuals or organisations in New Zealand.

If you were sponsored into New Zealand by someone in your family who was a refugee at the time you were sponsored, you’re automatically considered to hold a residence class visa.

For more information on sponsorship visit the Immigration New Zealand website:

Statutory declaration

A statutory declaration is a legal written document that must be signed in front of an authorised witness. In New Zealand an authorised witness can be a:

For Fees Free, a statutory declaration is completed by a learner to declare that they meet the eligibility criteria for Fees Free.

It is an offence under the Education and Training Act 2020 and the Crimes Act 1961 to give any altered, false, incomplete or misleading information or to make a false statement or declaration.

Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding

SAC funding is no longer delivered from 2023 and has been replaced by DQ3-7 and DQ7+. It was 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 entitlement.

Student services fees

Student services fees may be used by providers to support delivery of student services such as health care and student support. These fees are covered by Fees Free.

This was previously called Compulsory Student Services Fees (CSSF).


Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), also known as free trades training, supported learners to undertake vocational education and training without fees between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022. Study and training covered by TTAF during this time did not use a learner’s Fees Free entitlement.

Learners who were eligible for TTAF need to organise payment of their fees from 1 January 2023.

Tertiary education

Tertiary education refers to study at Te Pūkenga, private training establishments, universities, and wānanga, which is done on campus, online, or on-the-job.

For individuals who may have studied overseas, tertiary education refers to all post-compulsory education and training, including vocational, technical or academic pathways.

Tertiary education organisation

A Tertiary education organisation (TEO) is any organisation that provides tertiary education, training, or assessment services.

Tertiary education organisations include:

  • Te Pūkenga
  • private training establishments
  • wānanga
  • universities.

Transitional Industry Training Organisation (TITO)

Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) previously managed work-based training and apprenticeships. By the end of 2022, all TITOs transferred their role of arranging and supporting work-based learning to other providers (Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology, private training establishments and wānanga).

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are the fees charged by a provider for a course.