International Student Levy

This levy applies to international fee-paying students enrolled at state or state-integrated schools. The levy does not apply to exchange students, or New Zealand Aid (NZAID) programme students.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Administrators


It is each board's responsibility to ensure their school's ENROL is accurate because the International Student Levy (ISL) uses the database to calculate your allocation.  

Calculating the International Student Levy

For each international fee-paying student, we multiply the number of enrolled weeks by a weekly rate to calculate the levy amount. We use data from ENROL to calculate this, so it is important to keep ENROL up to date.

The levy is calculated per trimester, which means your levy amounts are spread over the year.

For each trimester, we will let your school’s ENROL contact person know of the deadline for ensuring ENROL is up to date ahead of calculating the levy. The levy will be final as of the deadline date.

International Student Levy rates

The rates for the ISL are called 'foreign fee rates'. They're published with the operational funding rates.

For more information about funding rates, visit operational funding rates.

Although the levy rates don’t change annually, the levy is occasionally updated as part of a review process. If this occurs, schools will be notified in advance.

Example ISL calculation

Below is an example of how the ISL is calculated:

  Primary School Student Secondary School Student Calculation notes
Date enrolled for this trimester 31/01/2020 31/01/2020  
Date enrolment for this trimester ended 14/04/2020 14/04/2020 We use nominal dates based on school being opened for the required number of half-days, so the date may not be the exact date the student began or finished the trimester. This is done as the first and last day of the year varies between schools
Number of calendar days enrolled this trimester  75  75  
Number of holidays days 18  18   
Number of tuition weeks 8   8 Rounded to the nearest week
Funding fee charged per week $10.73 $11.00 As at 2020
International Student Levy (incl. GST)* $86 $88 Funding fee multiplied by the number of tuition weeks

*Note in 2020 and 2021 that the Export Education Levy portion of the ISL will be credited back to you. Please see the Export Education Levy Cancellation section below for details

Collecting the International Student Levy

The levy is debited from your operations grant instalments. At the end of each trimester, we will notify your ENROL contact person via email that the levy amounts will be calculated shortly and provide a deadline for ENROL changes. It is your school’s responsibility to ensure that the ENROL details for the international fee-paying students at your school are up to date by the levy collection deadline. Any changes made after the levy collection deadline will not be reflected in any future operations grant instalments.

Some common checks that are useful to look at in ENROL ahead of the levy collection deadline are:

  • check that students are correctly assigned as international fee-paying or domestic students
  • ensure that international fee-paying students are only enrolled for the period they were paying a fee for. For example, if an international student was absent from the school for a period yet still paying fees for that time period, that student should still be recorded as enrolled at your school. Alternatively, if the student has paid in advance for a different time period occurring in the future, do not record them as enrolled until the time period they have paid for occurs
  • make sure that the weeks the international student was enrolled at your school is up to date in ENROL and matches your student management system
  • have the correct fee amount for the international fee-paying student recorded in ENROL
  • ensure previous changes made during the trimester to an international fee-paying student’s ENROL details relate to the correct time period. For example, if the amount of fees charged for the student changed on 1 August but the change in ENROL was updated on the 20 August, check that the fee change has been historically applied from 1 August rather than from 20 August.

Please see the Calculating the International Student Levy section above if you wish to work out how much your school will be deducted in advance of the operations grant instalment being sent through.

Deducting the levy

Levies are deducted from your operational funding instalments at the following times.

2020 dates

  • Trimester 1: 31 January to 30 April – October instalment **
  • Trimester 2: 1 May to 31 July – October instalment **
  • Trimester 3: 1 August to the end of the school year – April instalment.

** Due to COVID-19 both Trimester 1 and 2 will be deducted from the October instalment.

2021 dates

  • Trimester 1: 1 February to 30 April – July instalment
  • Trimester 2: 1 May to 31 July – October instalment
  • Trimester 3: 1 August to end of the school year – April instalment.

2022 dates

  • Trimester 1: 31 January to 30 April – July instalment
  • Trimester 2: 1 May to 31 July – October instalment
  • Trimester 3: 1 August to end of the school year – April instalment.

The impact of the Export Education Levy cancellation on the International Student Levy

Please visit information on the suspension of the Export Education Levy for schools.

Requesting a refund for International Student Levies

Because we use the ENROL database to calculate the number of weeks each international student has been enrolled in a trimester, refunds are rarely needed.

If your school believes a refund is due, email

Please note: refunds will not be provided in cases where the issue is due to your school not ensuring ENROL is up to date.

It is a requirement for you to inform the Ministry of any international students who have attended your school, as per the Education and Training Act 2020, and ensure that this information is correct.

Receiving the levy invoices and related information

The levies will be invoiced through your operations grant instalment. All emails relating to the levy data quality checking and calculation process are sent to the email address/contact person who is loaded in ENROL.

The ENROL contact is used because the levy is calculated from the International Student Data entered into ENROL. If you would like all correspondence regarding data entered in the ENROL application for all students at your school, that can be updated in ENROL. We don't have a separate point of contact for the International Student Levy specifically.

International student groups

The Group students form is currently unavailable. Please do not enter group students individually in ENROL.

For groups of two or more international students who enrol at your school for a period of three months or less Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) tuition days, you need to use the RS14G form instead of entering each student individually in ENROL.

The RS14G form can be accessed by going to the 'Create a Student Record' tab in ENROL and clicking 'add Group Students'.

To work out the FTE tuition days, exclude sightseeing days away from school days. For example, if the group stayed for five days but only spent the morning at school and then went on visits in the afternoon, the FTE tuition days would be 2.5.

Sometimes groups may have differing lengths of time at your school. For example, a group of 30 Japanese students may split into two groups with 20 spending five days at school and 10 spending only three days. To calculate the FTE days for this group, you multiply the 20 by 5 and the 10 by 3, add together and divide by 30 = (20 x 5 + 10 x 3/30) = (100 + 30)/30 = 130/30 = 4.3.

The form will provide you with an indication of the International Student Levy amount to be invoiced in the relevant operations grant instalment. This amount is calculated using the number of students and the number of tuition days. While the Export Education Levy is not being charged, we will be providing an EEL credit when the operations grant invoice is issued.

If you have made a mistake to a group student entry please create a new form for the school group and email to get the incorrect form deleted.

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