Eligibility

Eligibility

Last updated 13 July 2018
Last updated 13 July 2018

This page sets out the eligibility criteria for Student Achievement Component level 3 and above (SAC level 3 and above) funding.

TEO eligibility

See the following condition for tertiary education organisation (TEO) eligibility requirements.

In addition, universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), and wānanga must meet the following eligibility requirements.

Programme eligibility

See the following conditions for programme (including course) eligibility requirements.

Restrictions on the use of SAC level 3 and above funding for some types of courses

SAC level 3 and above funding must not be used for:

  • some types of health-related professional qualifications
  • pre-service teacher training
  • health and safety compliance training, or
  • regulatory compliance training.

See Condition: Programmes and qualifications.

Training schemes (including Certificates of Proficiency and Certificates of Personal Interest)

We have published criteria for funding training schemes.

New training schemes

The criteria take effect immediately for new training schemes.

Currently funded training schemes

For currently funded training schemes, we will engage with impacted TEOs to determine whether their existing training schemes meet the criteria for funding. This will have effect for 2020 SAC level 3 and above funding and beyond.

Towards this, we recommend that you take steps now to ensure that any training scheme, for which your organisation intends to seek 2020 funding, meets the criteria at the time of the 2019 investment round for 2020 funding (or sooner). It is likely that some currently funded training schemes will not meet the criteria and will cease to be funded.

See Non-qualification based components of a programme and Approval for qualifications and training schemes to access funding, both on the Qualifications and courses page.

Private training establishments

Private training establishments (PTEs) can now be funded to deliver training schemes.

Certificates of Personal Interest and Certificates of Proficiency

In addition to the criteria for funding training schemes, we limit SAC level 3 and above funding for Certificates of Personal Interest (CPIs), and Certificates of Proficiency (COPs). If you offer any of these, you must limit the SAC level 3 and above funded equivalent full-time students (EFTS) for these programmes as per the funding condition below.  

See Condition: Programmes and qualifications.

CPIs and COPs cater for specific individual needs; not for on-going or regular programmes of study. 

A CPI is an informal programme of individual study that consists of selected courses or unit standards where the student does not intend to complete a wider programme of study or training. Usually the CPI is attained through attendance, rather than through assessment.  

A COP is only delivered by a tertiary education institution (TEI). A COP is an individual programme of study that consists of courses or unit standards selected from an approved qualification. The TEI must check with the appropriate quality assurance body on quality assurance requirements.

Access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme

A student enrolled in an undergraduate COP may be eligible to access a student allowance and the Student Loan Scheme. A student enrolled in a post-graduate COP may be eligible to access the Student Loan Scheme. 

See StudyLink's website for more information.

High-cost provision delivery volume is agreed with each TEO

A TEO that receives SAC level 3 and above funding for high-cost provision must not exceed the number of EFTS approved through its Investment Plan for that type of provision.

This is to ensure that delivery volume nationally does not exceed the following annual caps for these high cost provision types.

  • Aviation (qualifications that include an in-flight training component): 450 EFTS
  • Dentistry (intermediate) year 1 intake: 60 EFTS
  • Medical undergraduate year 1 intake: 539 EFTS
  • Specialist large animal science total across all year levels: 70 EFTS, and
  • Veterinary science year 1 intake: 100 EFTS.

Aviation

If you receive SAC level 3 and above funding for aviation provision that includes an in-flight training component (pilot training), you must supply StudyLink with correct student enrolment information through the Verification of Study (VoS) system.

You must also ensure that:

  • annual student loan borrowing for course fees by any pilot training student studying full-time does not exceed:
    • $35,000 per EFTS, if the student is not eligible for fees-free tertiary education, and
    • $35,000 per EFTS, less up to the maximum payment of $12,000 paid by us on behalf of the student for fees, and
  • where a pilot training student is studying part-time, their annual student loan borrowing for course fees does not exceed the proportion of $35,000 represented by the EFTS course load that the student is enrolled in. For example, if the student is studying a 0.4 EFTS course load in the year, their student loan borrowing limit for the year is $14,000.

Dentistry

If you receive SAC level 3 and above funding that, in your Investment Plan, is specified for Dentistry students from rural locations (origin), you must use that funding for such students. 

This is because, within the national 60 EFTS cap for Dentistry (intermediate) year 1 intake EFTS, 10 of the 60 EFTS must subsidise provision for students from rural locations.

Doctoral study

The maximum SAC level 3 and above funding payable with respect to any one learner completing a doctorate is four EFTS.

See Condition: Use of SAC3+ Fund Funding for doctoral study.

Student eligibility

See Condition: Use of SAC3+ Fund Funding for valid domestic enrolments for student eligibility requirements.   

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN) programmes

ILN eligible learners are not considered to have the necessary literacy and numeracy skills to be successful in a SAC level 3 and above funded programme.

These learners should not be enrolled in a SAC level 3 and above programme until their literacy and numeracy skills have advanced sufficiently for them to be successful (for example, until they present at Step 3 or higher on the Learning Progressions for reading and Step 4 or higher on the Learning Progressions for numeracy). This can be achieved through enrolling them in an ILN programme first, where the provision of literacy and/or numeracy skill development opportunities is intensive.

International students

Whether or not a student is a domestic or international student for the purposes of fees and TEC funding is determined by their status at the time of enrolment.

A student's eligibility at the start of a course applies until the course ends.

See Non-New Zealand citizens on a work visa on our Enrolment page.

Permanent Residence status granted mid-way through study

Domestic student funding can be claimed for an international student enrolling in courses that start after the student is granted residency, whether in the same or a different qualification.

2018

Postgraduate research

An international student engaged in postgraduate research is a valid domestic enrolment, if the programme of study in which he or she is enrolled is:

  • level 9 or higher on the NZQF (Masters level or higher), and
  • wholly research (for example, a 120 point thesis).

SAC level 3 and above funding category 5 subsidises foreign postgraduate students at a lower rate than domestic students. TEOs are expected to use international student fees to recover the costs of their education. These students are only eligible to attract SAC level 3 and above funding while they are resident in New Zealand.

See Domestic students studying overseas (below) for information on whether other international students need to reside in New Zealand to be eligible for SAC level 3 and above subsidy.

See Condition: Valid domestic enrolments for additional information.

Funding for international students

For international students, there are different scenarios for whether the student is eligible to attract SAC level 3 and above funding, and the rate at which the provision would be funded. See Qualifications and courses (Numeric code).

The table below illustrates the scenarios for these international students and the applicable funding category. 

Student type
Programme type SAC level 3 and above funding category Student fee type
1 International student* Taught masters Not eligible International
2 Domestic student  Taught masters 3 Domestic
3 Domestic student  Research-based masters 4 Domestic
4 Domestic student  Ph.D./other doctoral programme 4 Domestic
5 International student* Ph.D.(becomes defined as a domestic student***) 4** Domestic
6 International student* Research-based masters 5*** International
7 International student* Doctoral programme (not Ph.D.) 5*** International

*       Covered by the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016.

**     See Appendix 14 of the SDR manual (International Ph.D. Policy and Reporting) for details about reporting an on-shore international Ph.D. student.  

***  Only while resident in New Zealand.

2019

Postgraduate research

From 1 January 2019, an international student engaged in postgraduate research is a valid domestic enrolment, if the programme of study in which he or she is enrolled is:

  • a PhD (level 10 on the NZQF), and
  • wholly research (for example, a 120 point thesis).

The SAC level 3 and above funding category 5 is being disestablished at the end of 2018, meaning that international students enrolled in a post-graduate qualification other than a PhD will not be eligible for SAC funding from 1 January 2019. TEOs are expected to use international student fees to recover the costs of their education.

Where a Masters level or higher, wholly research-based enrolment started in 2018 or earlier and continues into 2019, we will not fund the portion of provision that takes place after 31 December 2018.

See Domestic students studying overseas (below) for information on whether other international students need to reside in New Zealand to be eligible for SAC level 3 and above subsidy.

See Condition: Valid domestic enrolments for additional information.

Funding for international students

For international students, there are different scenarios for whether the student is eligible to attract SAC level 3 and above funding, and the rate at which the provision would be funded. See Qualifications and courses (Numeric code).

The table below illustrates the scenarios for these international students and the applicable funding category. 

Student type   Programme type SAC level 3 and above funding category Student fee type
1 International student* Taught masters Not eligible International
2 Domestic student  Taught masters 3 Domestic
3 Domestic student  Research-based masters 4 Domestic
4 Domestic student  Ph.D./other doctoral programme 4 Domestic
5 International student* Ph.D.(becomes defined as a domestic student***) 4** Domestic
6 International student* Research-based masters Not eligible International
7 International student* Doctoral programme (not Ph.D.) Not eligible International

*       Covered by the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016.

**     See Appendix 14 of the SDR manual (International Ph.D. Policy and Reporting) for details about reporting an on-shore international Ph.D. student. 

***  Only while resident in New Zealand.

Domestic students studying overseas

International students who become defined as Domestic Students are included in these policy settings (see types 1-3 and 6 in the international student type funding category table above).

Studying outside New Zealand while enrolled at a New Zealand campus of a New Zealand TEO

A student is a valid domestic enrolment and eligible for SAC level 3 and above funding if the student is enrolled:

  • at a New Zealand TEO while studying outside New Zealand (for example, while on an exchange programme or undertaking research); and
  • in a course(s) which is leading to the award of a recognised qualification offered by the New Zealand TEO.

See Condition: Valid domestic enrolments for additional information.

Studying outside New Zealand at an overseas campus or delivery site of a New Zealand TEO

A student studying at an overseas campus or delivery site of a New Zealand TEO (irrespective of whether they are enrolled at the TEO’s New Zealand campus or overseas campus), is a valid domestic enrolment. Therefore the provision is eligible for SAC level 3 and above funding, if the following criteria are met. The:

  • student is a Domestic Student enrolled in a course(s) leading to the award of a recognised qualification offered by the New Zealand TEO (this includes international students ‘involved in postgraduate research’ who meet the definition of Domestic Student - see Condition: Valid domestic enrolments)
  • student is enrolled in a programme at the New Zealand TEO which leads to the award of a qualification at level 7 or above on the NZQF
  • study outside New Zealand is full-time and face-to-face (i.e. not an extramural enrolment) in an approved country identified on the Education New Zealand website
    • student is undertaking part (but not all) of the programme outside New Zealand.
New Zealand Permanent Residents, Australian citizens, and Australian Permanent Residents studying overseas

To be classified as a domestic student, New Zealand Permanent Residents (NZPRs), Australian citizens and Australian Permanent Residents (APRs) studying outside New Zealand (enrolled either at a New Zealand campus or overseas campus or delivery site of a New Zealand TEO) must meet the criteria set out in the set out in the Education (Tertiary Education—Criteria Permanent Residents Studying Overseas must Satisfy to be Domestic Students) Regulations 2016. This includes that they must be:

  • studying in a country they are not familiar with
  • not enrolled as an extramural student, and
  • ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

“Not familiar with” means the student, if they have been to that country previously, has spent less than six months in total in that country in the five years before the date on which their overseas study begins.

“Ordinarily resident” in New Zealand means the student meets the “ordinarily resident test” whereby they are lawfully able to reside in New Zealand, normally reside in New Zealand and intend to remain in New Zealand (ie, they consider New Zealand to be their home). A student cannot be “ordinarily resident” in two countries at the same time.

Use the Ministry of Social Development’s Guidelines for deciding ordinarily resident to decide whether a student meets the “ordinarily resident test”.

TEOs are responsible for ensuring that a student meets the “ordinarily resident test” and is eligible to access tuition subsidy funding and study support. The TEO may require NZPRs, Australian PRs and Australian citizens intending to study part of a New Zealand qualification overseas, to complete a declaration to confirm their unfamiliarity with the overseas country they intend to study in and provide evidence that they are ordinarily resident in New Zealand. 

Note: We have not specified the amount and timing of the parts of the study to be completed in New Zealand and overseas. This is to allow flexibility for the TEO to best structure its delivery of the qualification.

See Condition: Valid domestic enrolments and Funding for study overseas.