Suspending collection for the Export Education Levy for schools

Do I still have to pay the International Student Levy?

The funds obtained from the International Student Levy (ISL) and Export Education Levy are used for different purposes.

The Export Education Levy is used for promotion, capability development, pastoral care services, research, and quality assurance for the international education sector. As well as funding the EEL, the International Student Levy reimburses the Crown for expenditure related to international students, such as school infrastructure.

Removing the ISL immediately would require legislative and/or regulatory changes which are not possible at this time. As part of the work under the International Education Recovery Plan, we will be considering whether it is still relevant and fit-for-purpose. Further information will be available in early 2021.

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.

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 International Student Levy calculation

Below is an example of how the ISL is calculated:

 Primary School StudentSecondary School StudentCalculation 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 ISL

The levy is debited from your operations grant instalments. At the end of each trimester we email a spreadsheet (RS15) to your school that lists the international fee-paying students and their levy amounts, so your school will know in advance how much will be deducted.

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 end of school year – January 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 school year – January 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 school year – January instalment.

Changes to the International Student Levy

Delay to the Trimester 1 2020 ISL

To help schools focus on the challenges at hand during the March 2020 lockdown, the Ministry of Education limited unnecessary contact with schools and removing the ISL would have required legislative and/or regulatory changes which were not possible at this time. This meant the International Student Levy was delayed for Trimester 1 2020. Instead schools will receive their Trimester 1 and 2 International Student Levy notices in the October operational funding grant instalment.

Export Education Levy cancellation

To help soften the impact on the international education sector, a law change has been made to cancel the EEL payment obligations for enrolments in the 2020 and 2021 years. These changes apply retrospectively, so you will not be charged any EEL for enrolments since the start of 2020.

You will be still be required to provide enrolment data, as it provides us with important information about the international education sector and will help us to better understand the full impact of Covid-19 on international students and schools.

The difference between the Export Education Levy and the International Student Levy

For state and state-integrated schools, the Export Education Levy is a small part of the International Student Levy.

For state and state-integrated schools, the Export Education Levy is calculated as 0.5% of tuition fees.

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

The International Student Levy for 2020 and 2021 will be calculated in the following way:

(Funding fee multiplied by the number of tuition weeks) – (international students' tuition fees multiplied by 0.005)

Why has my school received a different rate of EEL credit than other schools?

The amount of EEL credit each school receives is calculated based on their total international student tuition fees, unlike the ISL which is calculated on tuition weeks. As different schools have different numbers of international students and charge different international student fees, the amount and rate of EEL credit will vary slightly between 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. However, if your school believes a refund is due contact our administrator Resourcing@education.govt.nz

Receiving the levy invoices

The levy invoices 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. All RS15/RS16 invoices are sent to this email. 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.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback