What is Student Fee Protection?

The New Zealand Government requires that all New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) registered Private Training Establishments (Education Providers) must protect all student fees paid to them in advance. This means that in the unlikely event that your Education Provider has to close before the completion of your course, the remainder of your student fees will be protected. Fees protected within a Trust Account, means that you will have the choice to receive any remaining fees back or have them paid directly to an alternative Education Provider.

But best of all, Fees deposited and protected by the Public Trust are held in the Public Trust’s Common Funds which has an unsecured and unconditional capital guarantee from the New Zealand Government.

If you are interested in finding out more about NZQA or Fee Protection, please check the NZQA web site http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/studying-in-new-zealand/coming-to-study-in-new-zealand/international-student-care/.

Who Is Public Trust?

Public Trust is New Zealand’s largest and oldest trustee organisation, set up in 1873 to provide New Zealanders with independent and reliable trustee services. Our role is to help you protect your student fees during the period of your course. All fees are deposited into a Public Trust account and then held in separate student fee trust accounts which we have called Fee Protect.

How Does The Public Trust’s Fee Protect Work?

If your Education Provider is registered for Fee Protect through Public Trust, then when you receive your enrolment pack, you will also be given a bank deposit slip or electronic transfer form to deposit your fees directly into a Public Trust bank account. You will then be asked by your Education Provider to sign a student fee trust account application form which outlines the schedule of payments of your fees to your Education Provider over the duration of your course. Once we receive confirmation of the deposit of your fees and a copy of your signed student fee application form, we will establish your separate student fee trust account and begin paying your fees on the basis set out in the agreed payment schedule.

You are encouraged to deposit your fees to the Public Trust student fee trust account yourself. If you don’t make the payments yourself you should make sure you get a receipt or formal confirmation from your Education Provider to confirm that the fees have been deposited on your behalf.

Your Education Provider is not an agent for Public Trust. Public Trust has no responsibility for your fees until they are paid to the Public Trust bank account and you have completed the necessary student fee trust account application form.

Each student fee trust account is established as a separate trust on the terms of a Master Deed entered into between Public Trust and NZQA which sets out the terms and conditions that apply to each student fee trust account and a participation agreement entered into between Public Trust and your Education Provider. Copies of these documents are available upon request.

What Do You Mean By Student Fees?

Student Fee means in relation to a Student, the total course costs and other financial commitments associated with the course for which the Student has enrolled and which are payable by the Student, together with any other commitments that are required to be paid by the Student to an Education Provider. The Student Fee also includes (where applicable) any costs that are paid to an Education Provider where the Education Provider is acting as an agent for collection of those monies for the passing to a third party.

How Are My Fees Paid To My Education Provider?

The fees are deposited into the Public Trust bank account and held in your individual Student Fee Trust Account (Fee Protect). Public Trust then pays the fees to your Education Provider on the basis of the agreed schedule of payments. Tuition related fees are paid in arrears on the following basis:

  • The lesser of $500 or 10% is paid to your Education Provider on receipt of tuition fees and confirmation that the application form has been signed by you and the Public Trust has received a copy.
  • 15% of the remaining tuition fees are paid to your Education provider on confirmation that you have completed the first 8 days of your course, and
  • The remaining tuition fees are paid to your Education Provider monthly in arrears for the duration of your course.

Accommodation and Living Expenses are paid to your Education Provider either 4 weekly or 6 weekly in advance in equal instalments from the course start date.
On receipt your Education Provider will then either transfer payments to your accommodation provider or pay the accommodation and living expenses to you direct. You can request lump sum payments of either living and/or accommodation payments by talking to your Education Provider.

Does It Cost Me To Have My Fees Protected Through Public Trust?

There is no direct cost to you to have your fees protected in the Public Trust Student Fee Trust Account. Public Trust’s fees are agreed with your Education Provider and deducted from the payments due to your provider.

What Should I Do To Ensure My Fees Are Protected?

Ask your Education Provider about how they are meeting their fee protection obligations. Remember that if they are using another provider to protect your fees, there may be hidden costs to you.

If you know your Education Provider is with the Public Trust, you can ask them to provide evidence that your fees are deposited in the Student Fee Trust Account.

What Should I Do If I Want A Refund?

If you leave your course before the due date, you may be entitled to a refund. Speak to us at Regent Reception about a possible refund which is outlined in our Refund Policy. If you are entitled to a refund, we will contact Public Trust to refund the agreed amount to you.

For Further Information

If you want to find out more about Student Fee Protection, speak to us at Regent Reception or you can ring Public Trust on 0800 494 733. You can also visit the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s website http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/studying-in-new-zealand/coming-to-study-in-new-zealand/international-student-care/.