The Minister of Education is consulting on student services fee settings

The Minister of Education invites submissions on proposed changes to the way student services fees (previously known as compulsory student services fees) are regulated, including new targeted settings for apprentices and trainees.

Opt-in model for apprentices and trainees

The Government regulates the process that providers must follow when setting student services fees and deciding what student services 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 targeted engagement on student services fee settings for apprentices and trainees, the Minister of Education has proposed making student services fees optional for these learners. The Minister is currently consulting on this proposal through a Gazette notice.  

Under the proposed settings, Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) could not charge apprentices and trainees a compulsory fee for student services. Instead, TEOs would need to give these learners the ability to opt in to paying for and accessing student services. TEOs would also be able to give apprentices and trainees the option of paying for specific services that they would like to access. In practice, this proposal continues existing provisional settings.

Changing the way we regulate student services fees

Student services fees are currently regulated through a Ministerial Direction. However, the recent enactment of the Education and Training Amendment Act 2022 allows for regulation of student services fees through funding mechanisms, issued by the Minister under section 419 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Ministerial Direction on Compulsory Student Services Fees for 2019 [PDF, 174KB] - link)

Education and Training Amendment Act 2022 – link)

This change brings the regulation of 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.

To enable this shift, the existing student services fee framework is being copied directly from the latest Ministerial Direction and put into relevant funding mechanisms. You can view more information about funding mechanisms on Funding mechanisms and delegations - link)

The Minister of Education is therefore undertaking public consultation on bringing the existing student services fee framework into the following funding mechanisms:

  • Delivery at levels 1 and 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) - formerly the Student Achievement Component (SAC) at levels 1-2.
  • Delivery at levels 3-7 on the NZQF (non-degree) and all industry training – combining SAC at levels 3-7 (non-degree) and the Industry Training Fund.
  • Delivery at level 7 (degree) and above on the NZQF – formerly SAC at level 7 (degree) and above.

This change is primarily a technical one, as the existing student services fee framework will continue to apply. However, it will provide the Tertiary Education Commission with a greater range of levers if providers fail to comply with the framework requirements.

Consultation process

The proposed conditions have been published in the New Zealand Gazette and submissions close 31 August 2022. 

The Tertiary Education (Requirements on student services fees) Notice 2022 - link)

Following consultation, the Minister will then make a final decision on student services fee settings.


Submissions can be sent by email to


Submissions can be sent by post to:

Requirements for Student Services Fees Submissions

Tertiary Education Policy

Ministry of Education

PO Box 1666

Wellington 6140 

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