Fees free study

Ako utu-kore

We offer a range of fee free courses, and you may also be eligible for the fee-free study offered by the Government. 

On this page:


Government fees free study

The Government’s fees free study is for:

• Level 3 and above programmes

• Up to $12,000 study fees

• One year of full-time equivalent study, which means you can study part time over more than one year.

Some information about eligibility, continuing study and fee payments is included below. For more detailed information visit the Government’s Fees Free website.


To be eligible for fees free study you must be a New Zealand citizen.

There are no age requirements or age restrictions for the government fees free study.

Who is not eligible

You are not eligible if you:

  • Are enrolled at a secondary school at the start of the course or programme.
  • Have previously undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education 0.5 EFTS (or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. This does not include tertiary education completed while enrolled at a secondary school.

Continuing previous study

If you have already done some study and are eligible for fees free study at the start of 2018:

  • Course you do after 1 January are eligible, subject to the TEC cap for time and maximum allowance.
  • You would not have to enrol in a new qualification for this.

Applying for fees free study

To apply for the Government’s fees free study with Open Polytechnic:

  • Choose the programme you wish to apply to study with Open Polytechnic and apply online.
  • The online application form will ask how you would like to pay for your study. Choose the ‘Government Fees-Free’ option.
  • We will then check to make sure you are eligible and get back to you.

Fees already paid

If you find you are eligible for fees-free study in 2018, but have already paid your course fees don’t worry. We will review all study applications and will refund eligible students.

Fees paid by student loan

If you are eligible for fees free, but have already taken out a student loan StudyLink advises that you:

  • Log in to your MyStudyLink account
  • Change the ‘Pay fees’ field in your loan application to ‘No’.

Don’t cancel your student loan application completely if you will still need living and course-related costs.

If you were only taking out a loan to pay your fees, and they are less than or equal to $12,000, you can choose to cancel your loan application.

To cancel your application or get further information contact StudyLink:

  •  0800 88 99 00
  •  Studylink website

Withdrawing from your course if you don’t qualify for fees free

If you are not eligible for fees free study and would like to withdraw from your course email us. Include your name and student number in the email.



Open Polytechnic fees free courses

We offer a range of fees free courses to make study in these areas as accessible as possible to those who need it.

Please note these can be subject to change.

Te Reo

Level 1

Te Pōkaitahi Reo (Reo Rua) (Te Kaupae 1) [New Zealand Certificate in Te Reo (Bilingual) (Level 1)]


Level 4

New Zealand Certificate in Interior Décor (Level 4)


Level 3

Level 4

New Zealand Certificate in Education Support (Level 4)

Level 5

Foundation and Bridging

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Health & Wellbeing

Level 3

Level 4

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Care and Support) (Level 4)

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) (Community Facilitation)

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) (Mental Health and Addiction Support)

Horticulture and Agriculture

Level 2

Level 3

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3)


Level 3

Level 4



Find out more

For more information about our fee free courses, get in touch:

Freephone 0508 650 200


Related information


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