The Minister of Education has confirmed new student services fee settings

The Minister of Education has confirmed changes to the way student services fees (previously known as compulsory student services fees) are regulated from 2023, including new targeted settings for apprentices and trainees.

Opt-in model for apprentices and trainees

The Government regulates student services fees differently from how it regulates tuition fees and compulsory course costs. Rather than regulating how much providers can charge, the Government regulates the process that providers must follow when setting student services fees and deciding what these fees are spent on. This helps to ensure that tertiary providers are accountable to their students and transparent on what services are delivered through the fees that students pay.

Following a recent public consultation in the New Zealand Gazette(external link), the Minister of Education has decided to make student services fees optional for apprentices and trainees from 2023.

Under the new settings, Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) cannot charge apprentices and trainees a compulsory fee for student services. Instead, TEOs must give these learners the ability to opt in to paying for and accessing student services. TEOs can also give apprentices and trainees the option of paying for specific services that they would like to access.

Changing the way we regulate student services fees

The recent enactment of the Education and Training Amendment Act 2022(external link) has changed the way we regulate student services fees. From 2023, student services fees shift from being regulated through a Ministerial Direction(external link) and become regulated through funding mechanisms(external link).  

This change brings the mechanism for regulating student services fees into line with the regulation of most other fees. It also provides government with more flexibility when setting student services fee regulation and enables targeted settings for different groups of learners, such as the above proposal for apprentices and trainees. However, it is important to note that student services fees will continue to be set by providers with student involvement and will not be subject to the Annual Maximum Fee Movement.

Guidance on student services fee settings

The TEC is currently updating guidance for providers who charge a student services fee. The updated guidance will be made available on the TEC website before the start of 2023.

Read more about the Student services fees.

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