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The Government’s vision for education is of a system that places learners at the centre, with barrier-free access. It wants to give all learners the same opportunities to access tertiary education and training, regardless of their socio-economic background.

The Fees Free tertiary education and training policy was implemented on 1 January 2018. Students beginning study at a university, wānanga, institute of technology, polytechnic, or private training establishment, can now get their first year of full-time study fees-free, or an equivalent amount of part-time study fees-free.

New apprentices and their employers can have their on-job training costs covered for their first two years.

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Most senior secondary students and recent school leavers will qualify for Fees Free support. Fees Free support is available for New Zealanders (including citizens, residents of over three years’ standing, and refugees) for study at Level 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Support is capped at $12,000. Tertiary study that is part of a secondary schooling programme is not covered.

The Ministry of Education is working with partner agencies – the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Social Development/StudyLink, Inland Revenue and NZQA – to deliver Fees Free tertiary education and training.

Up-to-date information about the Fees Free programme and eligibility is available through the dedicated website – http://www.feesfree.govt.nz/