eligibility check proves popular
Media release – 6 December 2017
Almost 18,000 learners checked their eligibility for the Government’s fees-free initiative in the first 24 hours of the
online checking site going live.
, a one-stop information shop for learners to find out if they are eligible for either two years fees-free industry
training or one year fees-free provider based study, went live at 11 am yesterday (Tuesday, 5 December), to coincide
with the Prime Minister’s official launch of the initiative.
“In the 24 hours since then, 17,700 people have established whether or not they are eligible. That shows what huge
interest people have for looking into the opportunities offered by tertiary education,” says Tim Fowler, the Tertiary
Education Commission’s Chief Executive.
In certain circumstances the process requires the person checking to submit a statutory declaration, signed by an
authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace or solicitor.
“The first completed declaration was received less than two hours after the site went live.”
Tim Fowler says learners should have their National Student Number (NSN) at hand to speed up the process for confirming
“If you are currently at school, you can ask your school for your NSN. You can also contact the NZQA. Alternatively,
when you enrol with a provider you will be given an NSN. When you have your NSN go back to feesfree.govt.nz
to check your eligibility.”
About 80,000 learners are expected to be eligible in 2018.
The TEC is leading the implementation of the initiative, working closely with other agencies, including the Ministry of
Social Development (StudyLink), Ministry of Education and Inland Revenue, to implement the changes needed for 2018.
These changes are the first step in the process as the Government will roll out a full programme of three years’
fees-free tertiary education for
New Zealanders by 2024.
Tertiary education organisations have also been quick to go online for information on the initiative, with
implementation details at tec.govt.nz
attracting almost 1200 separate visits.