Discount on Internal Programmes/Courses

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Business Services
Baldrige Criteria

To provide guidelines and procedures for full time and proportional Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) staff, their partners, their dependants, Otago Polytechnic Board members and Alumni wishing to receive a discount for student tuition fees for courses/programmes at Otago Polytechnic Ltd that are funded by the TEC Student Achievement Component (SAC) fund.


For non-TEC SAC funded courses, e.g. OTCONT self-funded courses/programmes, such as, night classes, short courses, (with the exception of Alumni applicants), EventBrite and EduBits, please refer to clause 6.1.


1.          Subject to the conditions listed throughout this policy, qualifying Otago Polytechnic Ltd staff members (refer clause 3) their partners and dependants, current Otago Polytechnic Board members and registered Alumni are entitled to a discount of Otago Polytechnic tuition fees in accordance with the Discount Schedule (Appendix 1).

1.1.         For staff, and their partners and dependents, the discount rate is related to FTE status up to 100%.


2.          The Chief Executive may, at the request of the college/academic area, exempt any programme/course from this policy or adjust the rate of discount outlined in the Staff Discount Schedule.


3.          A qualifying Otago Polytechnic Ltd staff member is any permanent staff member and any staff member employed on a fixed term contract of one year or more (not casual). Staff member also includes Otago Polytechnic Ltd contractor, employee of Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC) Limited Partnership, employee  of Moana House, or an Otago Polytechnic Ltd learner employed while studying, who are delivering core Otago Polytechnic Ltd business with an FTE status of 0.4FTE or above.

3.1.         Other staff members with less than 0.4FTE (i.e. part time, casual, temp on campus) may qualify for discount if they are required to undertake role specific education/training with approval from the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety.


4.          If a staff member has accessed funding for staff development or a staff discount and has subsequently resigned from employment with Otago Polytechnic Ltd, any such funding or discount will cease at the end of the current enrolment. Special circumstances are to be referred to the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety.


5.          The costs of this policy are a corporate overhead with discounted fees charged to 101-90133-128.


6.          Conditions – for all types of discount

6.1.         Discount only applies to TEC Student Achievement Component (SAC) funded programmes/courses. There is no discount for OTCONT self-funded courses/programmes such as Art night classes, Design short courses, Hospitality short courses, Engineering short courses, EventBrite and EduBits courses unless:

6.1.1.    it is specified as mandatory or priority in the staff member’s IPP, or specifically negotiated with the Formal Leader with consultation by the Director People and Culture - this reason must be noted on the Staff discount form (Appendix 2)

6.2.         Discount applies only to the tuition portion of the learner fees, and excludes components such as OPSA and NZQA fees.

6.3.         Where the delivery fee includes significant resource costs (textbooks for example), these will be excluded from the discounted portion.

6.4.         Discounts cannot be applied for retrospectively.

6.5.         A new discount/enrolment form must be completed every year for all types of discounted enrolment.


7.          Staff Discount

7.1.         Otago Polytechnic compulsory training courses such as Treaty of Waitangi workshop for all staff and Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (GDTE) do not require a discount form – instead, the process will be directed by People and Culture.

7.2.         All mandatory/priority staff development activities must be in the approved Individual Performance Plan (IPP). Individual Performance Plan criteria and priorities are detailed in policy Staff Development and should be referred to in relation to this discount policy.

7.3.         For all other course/programme discount requests the staff member requesting the discount and the staff member’s Formal Leader will complete the Staff Discount/Enrolment form in Appendix 2 and forward to People and Culture for verification of employment FTE status

7.3.1.    It is expected that the staff member has discussed their enrolment intentions with the Formal Leader prior to enrolment, and provided access to an online Performance Portal copy of their IPP to their Formal Leader for approval before completing the discount form in Appendix 2.

7.3.2.    Once People and Culture have verified the FTE status the form is then submitted to Registry for processing. The application will then be processed normally, entry requirements checked, and notification of acceptance/decline.

7.4.         Wherever possible staff will be accepted without being waitlisted for courses that are identified in their IPP.


8.          Discounts for Partners, Dependants1 and OP Council Members

8.1.         Discounts are available to partners, dependants and Board members as per Appendix 1, and subject to the conditions noted in clauses 6.1 - 6.6.

8.2.         Priority entry to programmes will be given to partners and dependants of staff members who meet entry and selection criteria.

8.3.         For a staff member’s partner/dependants, the discount form must be signed by the staff member and verified by People and Culture.

8.4.         For an OP Board member the discount form must be signed by the OP Board member and verified by People and Culture.

8.5.         Acceptance into a multi-year programme on a discount basis does not automatically mean the discount will apply for the duration of the programme. A new discount form is required every year (refer to clause 6.6).

8.6.         If a staff member having accessed partner/dependent discount ceases employment, or a council member’s term finishes, the discounted fees cease at the end of the current enrolment. Any further enrolments will have the relevant full fees charged to the individual.

8.6.1.    Special circumstances are to be referred to the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety.


1 Dependant is a child or stepchild of a staff member, including those for whom a legal arrangement such as adoption or guardianship is held. It does not include children’s partners or their children.


9.      Discount for Alumni

9.1           When a registered alumni enrols in another full qualification programme 2 years or more after completing the previous qualification, a 15% discount applies to the tuition fees only,

9.2           Evidence of Alumni Registration is verified in the Student Management System by a Registry team member at time of application/enrolment. No discount form is required.

Note: Learner levies and ID card are not included.


10.    Failure to complete a course

10.1       Where the recipient of any payment identified in this policy fails or fails to complete a course or courses for which payments have been made by Otago Polytechnic Ltd, future payments will not be provided for repeat study, nor for alternative study, until a           successful track record is re-established.

10.1.1.    The Polytechnic will reimburse fees which would otherwise have been paid by the Polytechnic on application following successful completion.

10.1.2.    In exceptional circumstances the Formal Leader may waive this requirement. This provision applies to all recipients of staff discounts.


Please note: Staff who are undertaking study as part of the development priorities set out in policy Staff  Development, who do not successfully complete their commitments, and where no extenuating circumstances are accepted, will not be eligible for any staff development funding until a successful track record is re-established.


Discount Schedule                                                                                                                                     

  • Discount rate for Otago Polytechnic Ltd compulsory training, e.g. Treaty of Waitangi Workshops, Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (GDTE) for academic staff is 100% - no discount form is required.
  •  Discount rate for activity identified in Individual Performance Plan (IPP) as mandatory and/or priority activity is 100% regardless of FTE.
  •  Discount rates for activity identified in Individual Performance Plan (IPP) that are not mandatory or priority are related to FTE status up to 100%.
  •  Discount for Partners, Dependants are related to staff member’s FTE status.


Staff Member Proportion

Discount for Staff Member

Discount for Partner or Dependant

Mandatory / Priority

Non priority

0.6-1.00 FTE




0.4-0.59 FTE





  • A staff member with a proportion less than 0.4FTE (i.e. part time, casual, temps) may qualify for staff discount if they are required to undertake role specific education/training with approval from the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety.



Board member

50% discount for first enrolment in a programme and subsequently following successful completion of prior courses studied, for which discount has been given.

Registered Alumni

15% discount for full qualification programme 2 years or more following graduation


The level of fees is set as per this schedule and can only be adjusted by the Chief Executive.


Flowchart of Process


Flowchart of Process Discount

  • Discount form
  • Learner Fees policy
  • Surplus Staffing policy
  • Staff Development policy