How to Access Free Tertiary Education

With so many different free course options available now, you might be wondering which one (if any) is right for you. Don’t worry – our dedicated advisors are here to navigate through the different funding criteria.

Simply apply for your course and we’ll make sure you get the best deal!


Youth Guarantee or Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT)

If you’re eligible for all the options, we’ll put Youth Guarantee or Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) at the top of the list.

  • Youth Guarantee places are available for 16 to 19-year-olds – you’ll be prioritised if you haven’t yet achieved NCEA Level 1 or 2.
  • MPTT, administered by Te Ara Poutama, is ideal if you’re Māori or a Pacific Islander, aged 16 to 40, and applying for one of our trades courses.
  • Limited places on selected courses are available.
  • Both options provide extra mentoring to support your success.
  • If you take a Youth Guarantee course or MPTT course you’ll also be able to pursue other fully-funded courses in the future, depending on their criteria.

For more information see Youth Guarantee or Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT)

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

The next option, and most recently introduced, is the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).

  • Your age and any previous qualifications don’t matter – you’ll just need to sign up for a targeted course or apprenticeship between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022. 
  • TTAF covers fees for apprenticeships, selected level 3 to 7 sub-degree courses, and industry training in targeted areas. 
  • Designed to increase the number of skilled workers in sectors that are expected to grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Choose from courses in the primary sector (e.g. in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and forestry) or from the conservation, construction, health and community support, education, manufacturing, electrical engineering, information technology or road transport sectors. 
  • For full-time or part-time study or training.
  • You’ll also be able to access Fees Free courses in the future, if you’re eligible.

For more information see Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

Fees Free

The last stop in free tertiary funding is the Fees Free option. 

  • Available if you’re a school leaver or have completed less than six months of tertiary study or training at Level 3 or above. 
  • Covers the first year of a course or the first two years of industry training at Level 3 or above, or the equivalent value if you want to study part-time or over multiple years.
  • You’ll also be able to access TTAF courses or training later on, as long as you meet that criteria.

For more information see Fees Free

If you’re not eligible for any of the above funding options, you can also check out the annual scholarships that are available to our students.

  • These funding options are only available to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents (i.e. domestic students). Anyone who is legally entitled to work in New Zealand may also be able to access TTAF for industry training at their workplace.
  • In addition to these options, most of our Level 1 and 2 courses are fees free for all domestic students.