Learner Fees

Approval Date
1 January 2019
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
10 October 2019
Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services
Baldrige Criteria

This policy guides the setting, review, and management of fees in a controlled and timely fashion for learners enrolling at Otago Polytechnic Limited.



Learner/Student: within this policy these terms are interchangeable.

Publishable Fee: The compulsory fees at programme level for use where a single fee amount is published on the Otago Polytechnic Limited website or in any advertisements, prospectus, brochures, and other publications. This fee is GST inclusive and is the total fee which the learner pays to Otago Polytechnic Limited. The Otago Polytechnic Limited Publishable Fee may include charges for such things as ID cards, Student Service levies and NZQA credit fees, in addition to some course related equipment, work placements and field trips.

Tuition Fee: Course related component, balance of the total Publishable Fee minus the other compulsory relevant fee components. This fee comprises Compulsory and Non-Compulsory fees, and may include Course Related Costs, OPSA and NZQA costs etc. See Appendix C

Compulsory Fees: Fee components which cover items which the learner must purchase as a condition for enrolment.

Course Related Costs: An unfortunate phrase (since all fees are course related) used by StudyLink for all learner costs directly related to study. These costs include non-compulsory fees, as well as other costs which the learner incurs. These costs may or may not be purchased from Otago Polytechnic Limited.

Flat Fee: Where the learners in a programme all pay the same Publishable Fee amount, even if there are differences in their course selection within that programme. The Flat Fee will include all the usual fee components.

International Flat Tuition Fee: The purpose of the flat tuition fee is to give certainty in the marketplace. So if $15,000 is quoted, the fee paid is exactly that. This fee is to include all of the components such as Student Services, NZQA Unit Credits, and agents fees. Any recognition of prior learning (RPL) fees will also be absorbed within the flat fee

1.          All Otago Polytechnic Limited programmes and courses have a fee attached to them payable by the learner, or other funding entity.

2.          Fees are a condition of enrolment into courses and programmes unless the learner is eligible for NZ government ‘Fees Free’ scheme, refer to the government website for eligibility status https://www.feesfree.govt.nz/

3.          Fees for the following year will be set as early as possible in the preceding year. This will usually be dependent on the TEC fees policy release.

4.          Business Services annually review the Schedule of Fee Components (all fee components included in the Student Fee for the following year) and the Schedule of Nil Fee Programmes (domestic learner programmes that have all fees waived) - refer to SOP Learner Fees - Definitions and Schedules.

4.1.     Reviewed documents are then sent to the student body for consultation via OPSA and Student Council.

5.          Otago Polytechnic Limited Council approves fees from lists and recommendations supplied by Business Services (Finance) and the study body.

6.          All fees are to be authorised in accordance with this policy prior to entry to the Student Management System (SMS) and prior to any form of publication or notification to learners or others.

7.          Fees are to be set at fair market rates, and in accord with all Tertiary Education Commission rules and policies.

8.          All published fees information is to be GST inclusive.

9.          For international learners, programmes offered and promoted for enrolment by International Learners must quote a full cost ‘Flat Tuition Fee’ for payment in advance by the learner. These fees are established in consultation with Executive Leadership Team and Schools/Colleges and must reflect export education market rates for competitive advantage.

9.1.         The International Flat Tuition Fees are published as annual, semester or term fees according to the length of the programme and may change from year to year.

9.2.         Once a Publishable Fee is set, any increase to the cost of compulsory items (such as tests, field trips) within the Publishable Fee, means less remains for the Tuition Fee.

9.3.         Fee calculations should be GST exclusive even though all Publishable Fees are GST inclusive.

10.      Any charges to learners which are not listed in the Schedule of Fee Components (refer to SOP Learner Fees - Definitions and Schedules) are not deemed part of the Student Fee and are not covered by this policy.

11.      Assessment of Prior Learning fees are excluded from this policy - refer to policy Recognition of Prior Learning.

12.      Deposits are not charged to learners for the purposes of securing a place in any Otago Polytechnic Limited programme or course, or for any other reason.

13.      Refund of Fees is covered by separate policy Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund

14.      Disputes: Any domestic or international learner who wishes to dispute the fees owing must do so within one month of receiving the notification (invoice or statement) showing the outstanding amount.

15.      A request to review the outstanding amount must be made in writing to the Registry Team Leader, Otago Polytechnic Limited, within the specified time period. There is discretion to accept reviews lodged outside the normal one-month time limit if Otago Polytechnic Limited considers that there was good reason for the delay.

16.      The review should be completed within seven working days of the date of receipt of the application for review. Any outstanding monies owing at the outcome of the review are to be paid to Otago Polytechnic Limited immediately once notification is received.

17.      For further complaint assistance refer to policy Resolution of Learner Complaints.

18.      International learners who are still not satisfied following a review can make a complaint to iStudent complaints, complaints@istudent.org.nz