The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016

It is our primary concern and responsibility to look after our international students.

Otago Polytechnic has agreed to observe and be bound by The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, published by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

What is the Code of Practice? 

The Code of Practice is a document that clearly outlines the full legal requirements that education providers enrolling international students must abide by. The purpose of this Code is to support the Government's objectives for international education by:

  • requiring signatories to take all reasonable steps to protect international students; and 
  • ensuring, so far as is possible, that international students have a positive experience in New Zealand that supports their educational achievement.

Copies of the Code are available from the NZQA website.

Student rights and responsibilities 

Otago Polytechnic is committed to providing an environment that is enjoyable, safe and secure for all students, staff and visitors. All students should be guided by principles of openness, fairness and respect, and should be able to engage in the activities of learning in a manner that strives for excellence.

Rights and responsibilities apply to all students, and act as a guide to the policies and practices within the Polytechnic. Read more about your rights and responsibilities here.

If you have any queries, please contact:

All of these teams are located in The Hub at the Dunedin Campus. Or, you can contact your school's administrator. 

Terms and Conditions 

It is important that you read our Terms and Conditions (including our policies) because when you sign the declaration on the application form, it means that you are accepting all of them. Particularly important policies for you to read and understand before signing the declaration are Recognition of Prior Learning; Application, Entry and Enrolment; English Language Requirements and International Learner Attainment and Attendance

Read full Terms and Conditions here >  

Below are some sections of the Terms and conditions which you may be particularly interested in: 


Confirmation of enrolment will be provided in the form of a confirmation of place letter. 

Payment is due ten (10) days prior to the programme start date. Any learner who wishes to dispute the fees due must do so within one (1) month of the invoice date. A request to review the fees or account balance must be made within this month, in writing to the Customer Services Team Leader, Otago Polytechnic. At the discretion of Otago Polytechnic, and with just cause, this period may be extended. Once the request is received, the review will be completed within seven (7) working days. Once the review is completed, any outstanding balance is due immediately.

Depending on the programme or course, fees charged will be one or several of (but not limited to): tuition fees, ID card fee, Examination fee(s), Student Health Levy, Student Services Levy, and administration fee. Failure to pay any invoice(s) by the due date means you will then be liable for all costs and expenses (including legal costs, debt collection agent fees, and this may affect your credit rating) which may be incurred in the recovery or attempted recovery of the overdue amount from you. Under these circumstances, Otago Polytechnic may give to, or obtain from, any relevant third party information held about your personal or commercial credit arrangements. Academic Results for a student will be withheld for any course or programme where fees or any other debt remains unpaid. A student will be prevented from graduating or receiving their award(s) until their debt has been paid in full. The student will also be prevented from re-enrolling in further courses of study.

Cancellation of programme or course

Enrolment in a programme or course is conditional upon and subject to sufficient numbers of students enrolling in the programme or course. 


Transfers are negotiated with the Head of College or Programme Manager. There are no penalties; however, there may be additional fees required or a refund may be due. Where a student loan has been used to pay fees the refund will need to be returned to StudyLink and a new loan drawn down for the new programme.

Withdrawals and/or refunds

The key points of Otago Polytechnic’s refund policy, Withdrawal, Transfer, Cancellation and Refund are summarised below. If you have any questions, contact your school or Customer Services. Make sure you understand the refund policy before enrolling.

If you want to leave your programme or course, you must formally withdraw by filling out a withdrawal form (available from the School Administrator) and then returning it to the School Administrator. Withdrawal is confirmed from the date this form is received by Otago Polytechnic / OPAIC, and will be used when processing your withdrawal in the Student Management System (SMS). The final date for withdrawing from courses in a programme that commences in 2020 and receiving a refund will be identified on the student's invoice.

NB The administration fee is included in the fees paid but is separated from the fees refund if a student withdraws before the last date for withdrawal with a refund.

Please note: If you have more than four consecutive weeks of non-attendance in classes, or non-participation in required online activities associated with your programme or course, and we are unable to contact you, you will be withdrawn. 



Notification within 7 days
of visa/permit having been
declined, and before 
programme start date
 Not started  100%  $100 GST incl No result 
Before the programme 
start date 
Not started  75%  Nil  No result
After start date and within
first 2 weeks 
75%  Nil   No result
After programme start
date, withdrawal due to
academic or disciplinary
Nil   Nil  Did Not 
(DNC) or
(refer to 
grade table) 
After programme start
date and visa/permit not
Nil  Nil   
Fees set by external bodies         
Before cut-off date     100% $50 GST incl  
Agent fees    Nil  Nil   

Stand Alone/Short Courses: for a standalone course which is part of a programme and for short courses, the last date for withdrawal with a refund is usually the first day of the course or short course, which equates to 10% of the course. A $50 GST incl administration fee will be charged for a withdrawal after the course starts and before 10% elapses.

Compassionate consideration: if you withdraw after the last dates for withdrawal with a refund have passed, you may be eligible for compassionate consideration. Compassionate consideration may be considered for the following reasons:

> Medical, supported in writing by a health professional

> Work related, supported by a letter from an employer

Academic Registry will advise the result of the application for compassionate consideration.

An exit interview with either the Student Support Advisor or the Career Counsellor may be required as a part of the withdrawal process.

Privacy (Personal Information)

The Polytechnic collects and stores information about students to comply with various statutes and/or regulations, to enable us to make decisions regarding your academic progress, and to provide you with evidence of your academic achievements. This information may be also shared with other Otago Polytechnic schools/areas on a "need to know" basis, and is used to arrange appropriate support for students. After graduation your contact information is used for the graduate destination survey and provided to the Alumni office.

Where it is relevant, personal information may be disclosed to other agencies such as, but not limited to: the Ministry of Education, Audit New Zealand, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Industry Training Organisations, industry licensing and registration bodies, other tertiary institutions and providers of work experience for students in courses with a practical component. Upon failure to comply with policy International Learner Attainment and Attendance policy, information may also be provided to the parent, guardian or caregiver of an International student. In addition, when required by law, we will release information as directed. An information matching agreement exists between the Ministry of Social Development and Otago Polytechnic, which allows payment of loans and allowances. We will provide information to Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association for its membership records.

Students have the right to request to see and correct if necessary the information you have provided. If you wish to enquire about personal information held by Otago Polytechnic please contact Customer Services. You will be required to provide some form of valid ID such as a drivers licence or passport if you wish to access your personal information.

Workforce restrictions for children's workforce

If you have a criminal conviction, and you are studying (or considering studying) towards a qualification that will lead to a job in the state-funded sector (including teaching or providing youth services) working directly with children, you will need to check whether your conviction could prevent you from working in some roles in your chosen field. This is because new legislation, the Children's Act 2014, will prevent state sector agencies and government-funded service providers from hiring people with convictions for "specified offences" to work with children in some roles. The restrictions came into effect on 1 July, 2015. 

You can read the list of specified offences online here.

You can get more specific information (including FAQs) here.

This information has been supplied by the Children's Action Plan Directorate and the Tertiary Education Commission. 

Tuition fees 

Tuition fees vary between programmes. The fees shown on our online programme information pages are indicative fees. Please note that all fees are for one year of study and in New Zealand dollars (NZD). Fees are likely to increase for each year of study and additional fees may be required for programme materials.

Important dates and holidays 

Find out about semester start and finish dates, graduation dates and other times when the Polytechnic is closed.