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 and Credentials Framework (NZQCF)
  • 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 undertaken before 1 January 2023 that had no fees associated with it, and
  • study or training that you may have accessed a student loan for or paid yourself.

Learn more about prior study and training here.


Withdrawing from study or training

A “withdrawal” is when a learner stops participating in a course, programme or credential (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.

Work-based learning

Work-based learning is training done through the workplace or on-the-job and includes apprenticeships.

Work-based learning was previously called industry-based training.


Zero fee course

For the purposes of Fees Free eligibility and entitlement settings, a “zero fee course” is a course that:

  • is funded by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission,
  • starts on or after 1 January 2023, and
  • has no tuition fees and no compulsory course costs for any learner enrolled in the course.

This does not include:

  • courses that have fees, but the fees were paid by a scholarship, student loan, employer, or another zero fees scheme (unless otherwise specified),
  • free courses undertaken overseas,
  • courses that you have withdrawn from and been granted a full or partial fee refund for, and
  • courses that have zero tuition fees, but do have compulsory course costs associated with the course.