Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19

The government has announced a $20 million boost to the Hardship Fund for Learners, to be paid out to providers.

The funding supports learners:

  • facing hardship as a result of COVID-19, and
  • can be used for technology-related costs where COVID-19 restrictions remove the options for face-to-face study.

This additional funding will allow tertiary education organisations to address current need, and provides cover in case of future COVID-19 restrictions, including into the start of 2022. Minister Hipkins has directed the Tertiary Education Commission to work with learner representatives and provider groups to make sure that learners know about and can access this support.

The Government has also made a change to ensure student living support payments can continue for students unable to study online for an extended period as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

These changes, coupled with the support MSD can already offer, support tertiary learners facing hardship due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Hardship Fund – Tertiary Education Commission website(external link)

Funding support – StudyLink website(external link)

Ministers’ announcement – Beehive website(external link)

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