Discount on Internal Programmes/Courses

Approval Date
14 September 2022
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
14 November 2024
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria

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

For non-TEC SAC funded courses and Otago Polytechnic Ltd events, e.g., self-funded course(s)/programmes of study, such as night classes, short courses, micro-credentials, EventBrite courses such as Art night class, Automotive Warrant of Fitness course), please refer to clause 7.1.



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).

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

     2.1 The Chief Executive may, at their sole discretion, apply any level of fee discount to any person, even if not otherwise covered by this policy. if it is deemed strategically important to do so.

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 (1) year or more (not casual), and who is employed at 0.4FTEor more. A staff member also includes employee of Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC) Limited Partnership, an employee of Moana House or an employee of Kōkiri Training Centre.

     3.1. Other staff members with less than 0.4FTE (i.e., part-time, casual) may qualify for a discount if they are required by Otago Polytechnic Ltd 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. If a staff member ceases to be employed by Otago Polytechnic Ltd., there will be no fee discount applied to enrolments occurring after the cessation of the employment relationship.

5. Staff members who would be classified as international learners, based on their visa type, must first discuss this with their Formal Leader before enrolling in a programme of study.

6. Staff members of Te Pūkenga subsidiaries or business units are eligible for the staff discount outlined in this policy. This policy does not apply to partners and dependents of Te Pūkenga subsidiary or business unit staff, nor does it apply to Alumni of Te Pūkenga subsidiaries or business units.


7. Conditions - for all Types of Discounts

7.1.         Discount only applies to TEC SAC-funded course(s)/programmes of study. There is no discount for self-funded course(s)/programmes of study.  

     7.1.1.    If it is specified as required in the staff member’s Individual Performance Plan (IPP), or specifically negotiated with their Formal Leader with consultation by the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety- this reason must be noted on the Staff Discount Form (Appendix 2).

7.2.         Discount applies only to the tuition portion of the learner fees and excludes components such as Otago Polytechnic Student Association (OPSA) and New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) fees.

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

7.4.         Discounts cannot be applied for retrospectively.

7.5.         A new Discount Enrolment Form must be completed every year for all types of discounted enrolment.

7.6 Where progression through the course of study is not satisfactory, no further discount will be approved.


8. Staff Discount

8.1.        Staff who enrol in a course of study and receive a fee discount under this policy will not be eligible to access their annual allocation of professional development funding for the duration of the course of study.  (Effective as of 1st January 2023).

8.2        Otago Polytechnic Ltd compulsory training courses such as Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangiworkshop for all staff members and Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (GDTE) do not require a Discount Enrolment Form – instead, the process will be facilitated by People and Culture.

8.3.         All mandatory/priority staff development activities must be in their approved IPP (IPP criteria and priorities are detailed in the Discount Schedule, Staff Development policy) and should be referred to in relation to this discount policy.

8.4.         For all other course(s)/programme of study 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 it to People and Culture for verification of employment Full-time Equivalent (FTE) status

     8.4.1.    It is expected that the staff member has discussed their enrolment intentions with their Formal Leader prior to enrolment and before completing the Discount Form in Appendix 2.

     8.4.2. Fee discount(s) are contingent on satisfactory progress and meeting all requirements of the course(s)/programme of study. It is expected that the staff member will provide evidence of outcomes of any other course(s)/programmes of study enrolled in as a staff member at Otago Polytechnic Ltd having been the recipient of a staff discount.  Special circumstances are to be referred to the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety.

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

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


9. Discounts for Partners, Dependants * and Otago Polytechnic Limited Board Directors

9.1.         Discounts are available to partners, dependants and Board members and Alumni as per Appendix 1, and subject to the conditions noted in clauses 7.1 - 7.6.

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

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

9.4.         For an Otago Polytechnic Limited Board (Board) director, the discount form must be signed by the Board director and verified by People and Culture.

9.5.         Acceptance into a multi-year programme of study on a discount basis does not automatically mean the discount will apply for the duration of the programme of study refer to clause 11. Failure to Complete a Course/Programme of Study. A new Discount Enrolment Form is required every year (refer to clause 7.5)

9.6.         If a staff member having accessed partner/dependent discount ceases employment, or a Board director’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.

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

*  Dependant is a child or stepchild of a staff member, including those for whom a legal arrangement such as adoption or guardianship is held, and who is under the age of 25. It does not include children’s partners or their children.


10. Discount for Alumni

10.1           When a registered Alumni enrols in another full qualification programme of study (2) years or more after completing the previous qualification, a 15% discount applies to the tuition fees only.

10.3.           Evidence of Alumni Registration is verified in the Student Management System by an Academic Registry team member at the time of application/enrolment. A Discount Form is required.

Note: Learner levies and Learner ID cards are not included.


11. Failure to Complete a Course(s)/ Programme of Study

     11.1       Where the recipient of any payment identified in this policy fails or fails to complete a course(s)/programme of study for which payments have been made by Otago Polytechnic Ltd, future payments will not be provided for repeat study, nor for alternative study.

          11.1.2.    In exceptional circumstances the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety may waive this requirement. This provision applies to all recipients of staff discounts.




Appendix 1. Discount Schedule

Appendix 1. Discount Schedule

Certificates, Diplomas, Post-graduate Diplomas and Undergraduate Degrees:

Staff Member Proportion

Discount for Staff Member

Discount for Partner or Dependant

Mandatory / Priority


0.6-1.00 FTE




0.4-0.59 FTE




 A staff member with a proportion less than 0.4FTE may qualify for a 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 of study, (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.


Work-Based Learning Programmes:  

Note: This applies to staff members only, not partners and dependants.

Staff Member Proportion

Discount for Staff Member



Independent Learning Pathways

0.6-1.00 FTE




0.4-0.59 FTE




Note: Failure to complete a course within a programme of study in the Work Based Learning College, within the occurrence period, will result in a fee reimbursement being sought of fifty percent (50%) of the fees that would have been due.

Appendix 2. Discount Form

Downloadable (editable pdf: Discount Form

Approved by:

Approved by:

Dr. Megan Gibbons

Chief Executive

14 September 2022


Policy Version: V12; Previously Coded: MP0454