Fee Protect for Students

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 (opens in a new window).

Fee Protect is a student fee trust account which ensures you receive a refund of the fees (or portion of fees) you pay to a training provider if the provider is unable to complete the course, for example due to closure, insolvency or loss of NZQA accreditation.

Student fees include:

  • course tuition costs
  • accommodation costs
  • living expenses
  • travel and health insurance premiums, if arranged through your training provider.

Fee Protect means the last thing you will need to worry about is what happens to your fees.

How does it work?

Public Trust has three Fee Protect trust products - Standard Trusts, Static Trusts, and Bank Bond Trusts. Your training provider selects which trust to use. 

The trusts work in two possible ways to protect your student fees. . .

  • 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. This is the Fee Protect Standard 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 - this is the Fee Protect Static Trust or Bank Bond Trust
  • a combination of the above may also be used.

If your training provider is unable to complete your course - for example, due to closure, insolvency or loss of NZQA accreditation, 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.

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.

What do I need to do?

Ensure your fees are protected. . .

  • 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
  • read about the type of trust your provider uses so that you know what to expect and can be sure your fees are protected.

To find out more, see Student fee protection on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website (opens in a new window).