Fee Protection for Students
Safeguard your course & living costs: What students need to know
Fee Protect safeguards the money paid by you to your education provider, so that if they are unable to complete delivery of the course due to closure, insolvency, or other issues you can receive a full or partial refund of your fees.
The fees covered include:
Travel and health insurance premiums (if arranged through your training provider)
Your fees are kept safe under the care of Public Trust and are protected by a government guarantee. We’ve been helping Kiwi to safeguard their assets for over 150 years, and we’re the company of choice for fee protection at most New Zealand training institutions.
Public Trust does not charge students for fees protected with Public Trust. Fees are agreed between Public Trust and your training provider and deducted from their interest payments.
How does it work?
Public Trust has four Fee Protect trust products - Standard Trusts, Milestone Trusts, Static Trusts and Bank Bond Trusts. Your training provider selects which trust to use. The process for you is the same, where it differs is how the money is paid out to your training provider.
With a Fee Protect Standard Trust, your fees are deposited into a Public Trust student trust account, and paid by Public Trust to your provider throughout the duration of your course.
With a Fee Protect Static Trust or Bank Bond Trust, your fees are paid to your provider who arranges for a lump sum or bank bond to be deposited in trust with Public Trust to cover the fees.
If your training provider is unable to complete your course — for example, due to closure, insolvency or loss of NZQA accreditation — one of the following will happen. then you would have the choice to receive a refund of any remaining fees, return the fees to StudyLink or have them paid directly to an alternative provider.
If the funds have come from StudyLink, the funds go back to them. If you have paid them yourself, you can choose to have them refunded or forwarded to a new provider if you are transferring your studies.
What do I need to do?
Most training providers use a Standard Trust, where each student's fees are paid into an individual student trust account.
Here's how it works for Kiwi students:
The provider will give you (as a part of your enrolment) an acknowledgement form that outlines the conditions of the trust account.
You sign the acknowledgement form and the provider sends it to Public Trust.
You deposit your fees into the Public Trust account, using details given to you by your provider. Note that you can also request a receipt through them.
Public Trust establishes a Student Fee Trust Account in your name.
Public Trust makes payments to your provider over the duration of your course, in line with NZQA’s Student Fee Protection Rules and the Education and Training Act.
The Fee Protect process for international students:
Note that for international students the order will be different, as you will need to pay your fees before arriving in New Zealand, and sign the acknowledgement form once you arrive.
The provider establishes your student fee trust account with Public Trust as part of their enrollment process.
You deposit your fees into the Public Trust account, by electronic transfer or telegraphic transfer, using details given to you by your provider (including the Public Trust reference number).
Your provider will give you a Public Trust receipt to use for your student visa application.
You sign the acknowledgement form once you are in New Zealand and the provider sends it to Public Trust.
Public Trust confirms the Student Fee Trust Account in your name and starts making payments to your provider over the duration of your course, in line with NZQA’s Student Fee Protection Rules and the Education and Training Act.
Ask your training provider about how they are meeting their student fee protection obligations.
If your provider has a Public Trust Standard Trust, you can ask them to provide a receipt to show that your fees have been deposited in your Student Fee Trust Account.
You can also read about the type of trust your provider uses so that you know what to expect and can be sure your fees are protected.
The fine print
Public Trust has no responsibility for your fees until they are deposited into the Public Trust bank account and you have completed the necessary student fee trust account application form.
To make sure your fees are protected from the start, you should deposit them yourself directly to Public Trust. If you don't deposit fees with Public Trust directly, you should get a receipt or formal confirmation from your provider to confirm that the fees have been deposited on your behalf.
The New Zealand Government requires all private training establishments registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), to have some form of protection for fees paid to them in advance. These requirements are outlined in the NZQA.
Each Student Fee Trust Account is established under a Trust Deed between Public Trust and your provider, which sets out the terms and conditions that apply to each Student Fee Trust Account, in addition to the current NZQA Student Fee Protection Rules.
The requirements for training providers, and more information about student fee protection can be found on the NZQA website.