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Fees Free Policy

The Government has announced a new education policy – what does this mean for you?

If you’re just out of secondary school and ready to take on further study, or you’re thinking about getting your first qualification, you may be eligible to study fee free for a year.

Your fees-free year can help you explore a range of options. The policy covers 120 credits toward a qualification; the equivalent of a year of full-time study, or two if you study part-time. With our February and mid-year intakes, and flexible start dates for some programmes, you can choose a time that suits you.

All New Zealanders who have done less than half a full-time year of post-school education or training will be eligible to study fees-free next year. Apprentices and industry trainees will get two years of fees-free training because their courses are less than full-time. 

Wintec offer a range of programmes and qualifications, all of which are recognised by NZQA to be eligible for free fees. The programme of study needs to be at Level 3 or above. 

Are you eligible?

Use your National Student Number (NSN) to check your eligibility at

You can also use this link for a quick guide to help you check your eligibility and understand next steps. 

There’s no age limit for the fees-free policy but it is designed for students new to tertiary study. If you’re a recent school leaver enrolling for the first time – great! But if you’ve already studied full-time for six months or more, you won’t be eligible for fees-free in 2018.


Citizenship or residency requirements

You meet the residency requirements if you are any one of:
• A New Zealand Citizen
• A New Zealand or Australian resident and you’ve lived here for at least three years, while holding a residence class visa
• A refugee or protected person
• A sponsored family member of a refugee or protected person


What’s covered – and what’s not

The fees-free policy will cover programme fees, other mandatory fees and any compulsory student services fees.

There are still some costs you’ll need to take care of including text books, accommodation and any extra living costs. The great news is that you won’t need to ask StudyLink to pay your programme fees, but you’ll still be able to borrow course-related and living costs to help with these. You’ll also be able to get student allowance if you meet StudyLink’s eligibility requirements.

Applying for 2018?

To ensure your application is sorted for the start of 2018, apply to enrol as soon as possible and provide any supporting documents promptly.

Once we’ve assessed your application we will also let you know if your fees will be paid by the free fees scheme.

If you need to apply for a student loan to cover course-related and living costs, continue your application with StudyLink as well. If you’re eligible for fees-free, make sure you set the ‘Pay fees’ option in your application to ‘No’.


Already applied for 2018?

We will check your eligibility and contact you. 


Already started your course?

Fees-free is designed for students who are starting tertiary study for the first time in 2018. If you’ve already studied for six months at tertiary level in New Zealand or overseas, you won’t be eligible. Wintec has a great range of scholarship opportunities that we encourage you to explore instead.


Other fee free options

We also have a range of other fee free options available that aren’t part of the fees-free policy. Check out your options here.

Any questions?

Contact us on 0800 294 6832 or email – we’ll do our best to help.