Learner Support

Approval Date
12 April 2022
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Journey
Baldrige Criteria
Customer focus

To outline the central support services available for enhancing the success and educational experience of learners, including but not limited to, learning advice, career services, Information Technology (IT) support, wellbeing, access to primary and acute health care, and counselling.

Refer to https://www.op.ac.nz/students/support/ for information about available services.

This policy also outlines details about a fund to temporarily assist learners who encounter unexpected and short-term financial difficulties.

  • 1. Support services are available to learners enrolled in all programmes of study/course(s) at Otago Polytechnic Limited, and subject to all enrolment terms and conditions such as payment of standard fees and levies (refer to Learner Health and Counselling clauses 5-9 below).
  • 2. Colleges will advise learners of the range of support services available at orientation. Additional information can be found online at https://www.op.ac.nz/students/support/
  • 3. Learners with specific support needs will be identified as early as possible, through the application and enrolment process or as part of learner orientation and induction. An additional abilities assessment may be required to ascertain the best way to support the learner. Refer to Student Success for more information.
  • 4. Learners may access any support service by self-referral or by referral from staff.


Learner Health and Counselling

  • 5. All learners regardless of the equivalent full-time status (EFTS) value of the programme of study enrolled at Dunedin and Central Otago campuses of Otago Polytechnic Limited will be charged a Learner Health and Counselling levy, with the exception of TANZ e-campus, Otago Secondary-Tertiary College (OSTC), Distance delivery programmes, and Community Computing Programmes. This gives the learner access to Learner Health and Counselling services, ambulance and emergency medical care while they are on campus.
  • 6. Learners are entitled to Learner Health and Counselling services.
    • 6.1 Medical consultations are free on presentation of a Community Services Card or an Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) claim, otherwise there is a $15 charge.
    • 6.2    Check with Student Health reception for other charges such as, but not limited to minor surgery, dressings, and immunisations.
  • 7. Learners completing programmes of study/course(s) that have been exempt from the Learner Health Levy (distance programmes of study/course(s), short courses, contracted programmes of study/course(s), TANZ e-campus,) may access Otago Polytechnic Limited Student Health and Counselling services, however, payment will be required.
  • 8. Learners enrolled in programmes of study taught off-site from any campus of Otago Polytechnic Limited will not be charged a Learner Health
  • 9. Where a programme of study requires learners to be away from any campus of Otago Polytechnic Limited for less than forty-five (45%) of their programme of study duration, and where reciprocal arrangements with other tertiary providers have not been negotiated, colleges/programmes may choose in consultation with learners to provide alternative health care arrangements. The cost of any such arrangements is calculated as part of the college/programme’s clinical placement or work experience expenses.

Learner Assistance Fund

  • 10. The Learner Assistance Fund is available to learners who may experience an unforeseen financial situation during their study. By completing the Learner Assistance Fund Application Form (refer to Appendix 1.) and providing further information if requested, the Committee determine how best to assist the learner on an individual basis depending on their circumstances.
  • 11. The Committee that considers the distribution of the Learner Assistance Fund is made up of:
    1. Student Success Team Leader
    2. Otago Polytechnic Limited Student Association (OPSA) representative
    3. OPSA Chair (or delegate)
    4. Head of College (or delegate).

A majority of Committee members need to agree to the decision (quorum is half plus one).

  • 12. A learner applying for assistance will be required to complete a confidential “Learner Assistance Fund Application Form” (Appendix 1) which records personal details, the learner’s financial details of income and outgoings as well as assets and liabilities. It requires the learner to present a budget and a brief statement of the reason for seeking assistance. In addition, a Student Management System (SMS) check will be completed to confirm that the learner is currently meeting attendance and course requirements.
  • 13. If the Committee is unable to agree on an outcome, the Student Success Team Leader will refer the matter to the Director: Learner Services for a decision.
  • 14. For more information about this fund and application form contact Otago Polytechnic Limited OPSA.
Appendix 1. Learner Assistance Application Grant Form