Fees-free initiatives

There are a range of government initiatives that support learners to access fees-free tertiary study or training. This page provides an overview for the key fees-free initiatives supported by government and links to where you can find more information.

Level 1-2 fees-free

Foundation education at levels 1-2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) is fees-free through the Student Achievement Component (SAC) level 1-2 fund. This supports people who do not already have essential foundation skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to gain those skills, providing progression to higher level study and skilled employment.

Youth Guarantee

The Youth Guarantee programme provides 16-19 year olds with an opportunity to participate in a range of NZQA Level 1 to 3 courses fees-free with extra pastoral care support. You can find more information on the Youth Guarantee website(external link)

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training

This support Māori and Pacific learners aged 16 to 40 years of age (inclusive) to enter and achieve in pre-trades training and progress to sustainable trades or trades-related employment. You can find more information on Māori and Pasifika Trades Training online on the TEC website(external link)

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) will cover the cost of fees from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022 for all apprenticeships. The TTAF will also support fees-free support for programmes within targeted areas at level 3-7 (excluding degrees), at tertiary providers or through industry training in a workplace. Targeted areas include primary industries, construction and community support. This supports learners of all ages to undertake fees-free vocational education and training at sub-degree as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19.

For those in apprenticeships, their employer could also receive a wage subsidy through Apprenticeship support initiatives. You can find out more about the Apprenticeship Support Programme and Apprenticeship Boost on the Work and Income website(external link).

The list of eligible qualifications and programmes within targeted areas for provider-based programmes is published on the TEC website(external link)

See the Frequently Asked Questions for learners(external link) for further information.

Fees Free Tertiary Education and Training

Fees Free Tertiary education and Training was introduced on 1 January 2018 for first time tertiary students or trainees in their first year of provider-based study, or first two years of industry training. You can find out more information on Fees Free(external link), including eligibility criteria.

From 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022, fees-free study or training through the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, Youth Guarantee fees-free or the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training does not count towards your Fees Free entitlement. Fees Free eligible learners will still be able to use their Fees Free entitlement for future study or training that is not covered by these existing fees-free funds.

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