Undertaken study and/or training

To undertake provider-based study means to enrol in tertiary study and remain enrolled past the refund period.

To undertake work-based learning means to achieve credits towards a work-based learning programme.

When we assess your Fees Free eligibility we look at the study and training you have previously undertaken to determine whether you are a first-time tertiary learner.

Learn more about what counts as prior study and training.


Withdrawing from study or training

A ‘withdrawal’ is when a learner stops participating in a course, programme or credential (whether or not 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, and you may still see it referred to in this way by some organisations.


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  • courses that you have withdrawn from and been granted a full or partial fee refund for, and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.