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Fees free study

By UCOL on Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A lady studying at a computer with illustrations on the screen

If you are thinking about studying for the first time at a tertiary level there are some important things you need to know.

The New Zealand Government has announced one year of fees-free tertiary education from 2018 for people new to tertiary study, which includes most UCOL courses. 

Eligibility of students
  1. New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, or Australian residents who have lived in New Zealand for at least three years; and
  2. Not be enrolled in school when your qualification starts, and either:
    • been enrollled at school in 2017 or 2018, or
    • not have undertaken previous study or training of more than 60 credits (including tertiary education undertaken in another country), except while you were at school, and
  3. Enrol in an eligibile qualification.

Eligible qualification and programme criteria
  • Starts in 2018
  • Funded by the Tertiary Education Commission
  • Recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • Level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (see UCOL's programme pages for the levels)
Find out if you're eligible
To find out if you're eligible go to and enter your national student number (NSI). If you don't know your NSI there's a helpful link, and if you have more questions, see the FAQs.

Amount of funding available
There is a limit of NZ$12,000.00 for fees, which will cover tuition fees, associated manditory fees and compulsory student services fees at UCOL.

Length, location and timing of study
Fees-free can be taken up at UCOL for up to two years from the study start date. Extramural study, including from overseas, is allowed.

Fees-free can't be deferred for a later year. It must be used from the start of an enrolment.

Already paid or applied for a student loan
If you're eligible and have already paid for your 2018 study, simply contact Tertiary Education Comission for a refund. If you have applied for a StudyLink loan, log in to your StudyLink account to change your application.

Student allowances, living costs and course-related costs
If you meet the requirements, but still need support with funding other aspects of your study, you can apply to StudyLink.