From 1 January 2018, the New Zealand Government has introduced a policy to provide eligible New Zealanders with a year of free provider based tertiary education or industry training.
To be eligible for fees-free study with a university, institute of technology or polytechnic, wānanga or private training establishment, you must:
- be a New Zealand citizen, or
- be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and either:
- have been living in New Zealand for at least 3 years while holding a residence class visa, or
- be a refugee or protected person, or
- be sponsored into New Zealand by someone in your family who, at the time you were sponsored, was a refugee or protected person, and
- not be enrolled in a school at the start date of the course or programme, and
- not have previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education or 0.5 EFTS) at level 3 or above on the NZQF, including tertiary education at an equivalent level in any other country. This excludes any tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in a secondary school.
The changes for 2018 are the first step in the Government’s stated intent to provide a full programme of 3 years’ fee free tertiary education and training for New Zealanders by 2024.
This policy is part of the Government’s first 100 days programme which also includes a $50 a week boost to both student allowances and loan entitlements for living costs from 1 January 2018.