Admission and enrolment procedures

Effective 1 January 2023

1. Procedures

This Procedure is supplemental to Te Kawa Maiorooro, Te Pūkenga’s Educational Regulatory Framework.  Te Kawa Maiorooro sets out the overarching regulations that apply to learning and delivery (teaching, assessment, rangahau and research, and support activities) at Te Pūkenga.  As and when finalised, Te Pūkenga will publish policies and procedures that are intended to sit underneath Te Kawa Maiorooro and prescribe detailed requirements.

In the meantime, pursuant to Te Pūkenga’s Grandparenting Policy, the regulations, policies, and procedures of the former subsidiaries apply unless there is a national regulation or policy in place.  Accordingly, where a specific matter is not addressed within Te Kawa Maiorooro, this procedure is intended to prescribe the requirements that are specific to the Unitec business division.

To the extent that there is any conflict or inconsistency between any of Unitec’s policies or procedures and Te Kawa Maiorooro, Te Kawa Maiorooro shall prevail and have priority.

2. General provisions

2.1. Certified evidence of an applicant ākonga's identity will be recorded and need only be supplied once to Unitec. Where the ākonga is enrolled, Unitec reserves the right to retain a record of this evidence indefinitely for the purposes of validating a ākonga's identity.

2.2. Enrolments for all Programmes and Courses will be recorded in Unitec’s Student Management System.

3. Students under 16 years of age

3.1. Unitec may refuse to accept applicant ākonga younger than 16 years of age unless:
a) Unitec is satisfied the applicant ākonga is capable of completing the academic requirements of the Courses or Programme that the applicant ākonga is seeking to enrol in; and
b) If the applicant ākonga is, or will be, enrolled in a secondary school at the time the Programme or Course starts, the ākonga’s |Student’s Principal has signed a letter that approves the Programme or Course and that either specifies that;

  • the ākonga is not required to be absent from school during school hours; or
  • where the ākonga is required to be absent from school during school hours for more than five hours per week, the school will seek reduced funding for the ākonga from the Ministry of Education.

4. Admission Restrictions

4.1. As per the Education and Training Act 2020, no Ākonga nō tāwāhi |International Student may be enrolled in any Programme or Course if the  ākonga’s enrolment would have the effect that ākonga nō Aotearoa |a Domestic Student who is entitled to enrol in the Course or  Programme, and has applied for enrolment, would be unable to be enrolled.

4.2. The Deputy Chief Executive Academic (or their delegate) may determine the maximum number of Ākonga who  may be enrolled in a particular Class, Course or Programme in a particular year or semester.

5. Refusal or cancellation of enrolment

5.1. Unitec accepts no liability for any direct or indirect consequential loss incurred by the Ākonga.

5.2. Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners are reminded to refer to section 5 of Unitec’s Contract of Enrolment Terms and Conditions when considering their rights under New Zealand law. All ākonga are reminded of Te Pūkenga’s Ākonga Concerns and Complaints Policy.

5.3. Where an Ākonga has not confirmed Enrolment by:
a) Payment of fees; or
b) A confirmed Student loan application; or
c) Producing a signed approval from an employer or other approved third party linked to a third-party contract,
by the due date for payment, the Head of School has the right to cancel the Ākonga’s Enrolment in order to make places available to other Ākonga waiting to take up places. Where Enrolment is not cancelled, the amount owing by the Ākonga will be recovered in accordance with Unitec’s Accounts Receivable Procedures.

6. Re-enrolment

6.1. Ākonga who have outstanding fees on their accounts will have their access to re-enrol removed.

6.2. Postgraduate Ākonga who have been given an extension after their enrolment period finishes and who require access to specific ākonga services and facilities to complete their thesis, will need to make a request to their supervisor for a reinstatement of access to these services for a period of 90 days.

7. Ākonga responsibility

7.1. Where an Ākonga has enrolled in a Course(s)/Class (es) and it eventuates that the Ākonga has enrolled in a Course(s)/Class(es) which they are unable to attend, the ākonga must apply to change their Enrolment to alternative Course(s)/Class (es). Refer to Section 12.

7.2. Where an Ākonga  has enrolled in a semester before all results are known and it subsequently eventuates that the Ākonga has not passed prerequisite Courses for progression, or met other requirements set out in the Programme Regulations, the Ākonga must change their enrolment to meet the mandatory requirements of the relevant Programme Regulations. If the Ākonga fails to change their enrolment, Unitec reserves the right to cancel such Enrolments.

7.3. Final responsibility for Enrolment choices sits with Ākonga. It is the Ākonga’s responsibility to check their student portal to ensure that they have enrolled in all courses required to complete their Programme according to the Programme Regulations and the Akonga’s Study Plan. Unitec staff will provide guidance and advice to Ākonga to assist with suitable choices to be made. If the Ākonga is in any doubt, they must confirm with the Admission and Assessment team.

8. Certificate of Proficiency

8.1. Ākonga may be enrolled in a Course on a Certificate of Proficiency basis where:
a) The completion of the Course is to cater for individual needs and the Ākonga is not   currently enrolled in any Programme; or
b) The Ākonga is currently enrolled in a Programme, but the Course concerned is not an elective within that Programme and will not contribute in any way towards achieving that Qualification.

8.2. Applications to enrol in a Course on a Certificate of Proficiency basis must be approved by the relevant Academic Programme Manager of which the Course forms a part. The Programme Regulations for that Programme shall apply.

8.3. Ākonga who have attained credit for a Course on a Certificate of Proficiency may apply at any time to have that credit credited to a qualification on the condition that the credit recognition requirements set out in the relevant Programme Regulations are met.

8.4. Certificate of Proficiency Courses are only offered for level 4 – 7 Programmes.

8.5. Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners completing Certificate of Proficiency Courses must have a valid visa that covers the period of study.

9. Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners

9.1. All first time Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners will be charged a Non-refundable Enrolment fee as stated on their offer of place.

9.2. All Ākonga studying at Unitec on an approved visa must also provide evidence of their ongoing eligibility to study every time their enrolment is extended or when there are changes to their visa conditions.

9.3. All Ākonga studying at Unitec on a Permanent Residency/Residence Visa must also provide evidence of   their eligibility to study when there are changes to their visa conditions.

9.4. Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International Learners may only be enrolled in Programmes approved for Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International Learners.

9.5. Fundamental terms of the contract of enrolment of an Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learner are that they have:
a) An appropriate visa valid for the duration of the study period they have been enrolled in as per the Student’s offer of place; and
b) Appropriate medical and travel insurance that meets the requirements of The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice. Unitec facilitates the provision of insurance that meets these requirements, but Ākonga must advise the insurer of any pre-existing condition within 31 days of the policy being placed with the insurer.

9.6. For new Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners- Where Unitec facilitated insurance is not being used, Ākonga must provide proof of coverage from an insurer on the list of Unitec approved insurers, and the full policy wording   in English, by the first day of the month in which the Ākonga’s Programme starts.

9.7. For Continuing Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners - Where Unitec facilitated insurance is not being used, Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners must provide International Student Support Services with proof of continued coverage at least 14 days prior to the   expiry of their current policy.

9.8. All Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International Students must as soon as practicable after their acceptance of an offer of place, and any subsequent extension of their enrolment, present their visa details to Unitec for approval.

9.9. Any International Student who does not present their visa and insurance details to Unitec as above will:
c) Have a Negative Service Indicator (NSI) added to their Ākonga | Student record denying them   access to Unitec Services; and
d) Be reported to Immigration New Zealand in relation to their visa condition.

9.10. Any documents to satisfy entry requirements that are provided to Unitec that are translated into English need to be provided in conjunction with the original version for Unitec to verify the original documents.

9.11. Where an ākonga takes a leave of absence that is longer than that permissible under the Programme Regulations, the ākonga may be required to re-enrol. At the time of re-enrolment, the ākonga must provide evidence that they meet Unitec’s English Language Requirements. Ākonga must review the evidence that they originally provided and ensure that it remains valid. This is because the internationally recognised English proficiency tests must have been achieved within the two years preceding the date of re- enrolment.

9.12. Returning Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners must ensure they have a current offer of place for the Programme in which they are enrolling. Failure to have a current offer of place may result in cancellation of their Enrolment.

10. Short Course Eligibility – Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners

10.1. An Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learner currently enrolled in a formal Programme at Unitec and holding a valid Student visa can enrol in a Short Course provided that it does not conflict with their approved Programme.

10.2. People admitted into New Zealand on a work visa can enrol in a Short Course. The Ākonga will be classified as an Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learner and so must have medical and travel insurance cover in place for the period of study which satisfies the requirements of The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.

10.3. People admitted into New Zealand on a visitor’s visa can only be enrolled in Short Courses, or multiple Short Courses, where the total enrolment duration does not exceed 12 weeks and is aligned to their visitor’s visa conditions. The Ākonga will be classified as an Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learner and so must have medical and travel insurance cover in place for the period of study which satisfies the requirements of The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.

10.4. Any Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners wishing to study for a total combined duration exceeding 12 weeks must have a Student’s visa.

10.5. No Ākonga shall be enrolled in a Short Course without having paid any prescribed fee.

11. Changes to Enrolment

11.1. Ākonga wishing to make a change to their Course(s) or major for which they have been enrolled must submit a Change Enrolment Request form using student self-service providing a valid reason for this change to support their request.

11.2. Ākonga wishing to change their class to a different class under the same Course, will not incur any fees or penalties to their Academic record (s) regardless of when the Change Enrolment Request form is submitted.

11.3. Any fees associated with a Change to Enrolment outline in point 2.18 of Te Kawa Maiorooro Educational Regulatory Framework) will depend on:
a) Whether the Ākonga is Domestic (nō Aotearoa) or International (nō tāwahi); and
b) At what point in time the Ākonga withdraws.

11.4. Unitec reserves the right to decline a Change Enrolment request.

11.5. Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners wishing to change their major (plan) or change to part-time study must consult with International Student Support Services first to discuss how/if this may impact the Ākonga’s visa and insurance.

12. Withdrawals

12.1. Ākonga wishing to withdraw from their Programme, Class or Course must provide notification by completing and submitting a Change Enrolment Request form or providing Unitec Advice in Writing (see definitions).

12.2. The effective date for processing any withdrawal will be the date the Change Enrolment Request form is submitted, or Advice in Writing is received by Unitec.

12.3. When an Ākonga withdraws, their Programme, Course and/or Class status will be marked appropriately as  outlined in point 2.22 to 2.24 of Te Kawa Maiorooro Educational Regulatory Framework.

12.4. Any outstanding fees will be charged in accordance with the Te Kawa Maiorooro Educational Regulatory Framework.

12.5. Ākonga wishing to apply for a leave of absence must follow the guidelines in the relevant Programme Regulations.

12.6. Where an Ākonga’s Application for Assessment of Prior learning or Cross Credit/Credit Recognition for the Course has been accepted after the Course has started, Unitec will withdraw the ākonga and they will be entitled to a full refund for the relevant Course. Unitec reserves the right to off-set any amount owing by the   ākonga in relation to the Assessment of Prior Learning or Cross Credit/Credit Recognition against any amount owing by Unitec to the Ākonga.

12.7. All Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners who wish to withdraw from a Programme must consult with the International Student Support Services first to discuss how/if this may impact the student’s visa and insurance; if required they may then submit a Change Enrolment Request Form.

13. Consequences of withdrawal

13.1. Immigration New Zealand will be notified of withdrawals made by Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learners.

14. No Shows

14.1. For the purpose of this Procedure, an ākonga has engaged with a Course in which they are enrolled if they have any of the following:
a) signed an attendance register;
b) had their attendance recorded in SEAtS;
c) submitted Course work or other forms of assessment; or
d)    Ākonga accessed Moodle or any of the electronically based material on more than one occasion after class start date. Ākonga identified as “No Shows” will be administratively withdrawn.

14.2. All No Shows must be identified as soon as possible upon completion of the first 10% (or month, whichever is the earlier) of the Class Start Date and processed within 60 days of the Class End Date in the year in which the Student was enrolled.

14.3. If, due to exceptional circumstances, a No Show is identified outside the period in 14.4 below, the withdrawal must be approved by the Deputy Chief Executive Academic or their delegate.

14.4. If at any time evidence is provided that an ākonga has engaged in the Course as per Paragraph 14.2 but has not paid their fees, Unitec reserves the right to pursue collecting the debt for the relevant Enrolment.

15. Roles and responsibilities

Academic Programme Manager

  • Approve late applications.
  • Approve relevant applications to enrol in Courses on a Certificate of Proficiency.

Head of School

  • Approve Cancellation of Classes 
  • Approve Cancellation of Student Enrolments.
  • Approve Administrative Withdrawals.
  • Exclude Students from a Programme.

Deputy Chief Executive Academic

  • Determining the maximum number of Ākonga who may be enrolled in a particular Class, Course or Programme in a particular year or semester.
  • Approve retrospective No Shows.

16. Definitions

Class Start Date
The date on which a given Class in a Course is to be delivered, as recorded in the Student Management System. This date is relevant for StudyLink purposes and for the purpose of calculating the 10% Date.

Class End Date
The official date recorded in the Student Management System that a given Class ends for the course duration. For the purpose of calculating The 10% Date, the Class End Date will be deemed the Sunday after the last Class for the Course.

The 10% Date
The date which is 10% of the way through a Course as calculated by reference to the number of days from the Class Start Date to the Class End Date.
For double semester courses where the course consists of two components – Semester A and Semester B, The 10% Date is defined as 10% of the duration of Semester A + 10% of the duration of Semester B.

The process of being assessed and approved for participation in a Programme, training scheme or Course.

Advice in Writing
The following methods of communication sent by a Student will be considered by Unitec to be Advice in Writing for the purposes of this Policy provided that the Student’s full name and Unitec Student ID Number are specified in the communication:
a) A signed and dated communication on paper;
b) An email from the ākonga’s email address recorded in the Student Management System; or
c) Entering a self-service information change or request via the Unitec Web self- service system.

The following methods of communication from a Unitec kaimahi to an ākonga will be considered to be Advice in Writing for the purposes of this Policy:
a) An email to the ākonga’s email address recorded in the Student Management System; or
b) Correspondence posted to the ākonga’s mailing address recorded in the Student Management system; or
c) A text message to a mobile phone number recorded in the Student Management system.

Any communication under this Policy will be deemed to have been received:
a) 3 Working Days after the date of mailing if sent by ordinary post within New Zealand or 10 Working Days if sent from overseas;
b) If sent by email, on the date it enters the recipient’s mailing system;
c) If sent by text, when noted as successfully sent on the sender’s phone;
d) At the time of delivery if delivered by hand.

A (current, past, and future) domestic tertiary learner, international tertiary learner, or industry trainee or apprentice.
A person who is involved in learning and/or assessment (at an education and training provider or in the workplace, etc.).


Ākonga Māori | Māori learner.

  • Ākonga nō Aotearoa | Domestic learner.
  • Ākonga nō tāwāhi | International learner.
  • Ākonga nō Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa | Pacific learner.
  • Ākonga Whai Kaha | Disabled learner.

Ākonga nō Aotearoa (Domestic learner)
Ākonga nō Aotearoa (domestic learner) is someone who is either:
a) a New Zealand citizen,
b) the holder of a residence class visa, or 
c) required by the Minister or Gazette notice to be treated as if they are not an international student.

Ākonga nō tāwāhi (International learner)
Ākonga nō tāwāhi (international learner) means an International Student as defined in the Education and Training Act 2020 (section 10).

A formal application to a higher authority for a decision to be reversed.

A person who evaluates the assessment evidence presented by ākonga.

The physical attendance at a defined Class or virtual online attendance through engagement with online Class and content.

Certified copies
A copy of the original document that has been:
a) Sighted and signed by an authorised person as listed in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957. This includes a Barrister or Solicitor of the High Court, a Justice of the Peace, a Notary Public, a Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar, a Member of Parliament, or a Land Transport Safety Authority, Public Trust, or local authority employee designated for this purpose; or
b) Made by a staff member in Unitec’s Student Central who has photocopied the document/s and certified, stamped and signed the copy. Student Recruitment staff are also able to certify original documents.

Certificate of Proficiency
Not an award, but a funding mechanism which enables ākonga who do not intend to complete an approved programme to take individual courses from that programme or programmes.

A component of a course e.g. a lecture stream.

Code of Practice
The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (the Code).

The smallest component of a programme that contributes credit towards an award (qualification or micro-credential). See also “Components”.

The ability to apply particular knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to the standard of performance required in specified contexts.

An expression of dissatisfaction where the ākonga seeks some form of redress or change in a situation; where the ākonga considers that they have been directly or adversely impacted, which requires a formal process of resolution.

One credit represents a notional 10 hours of learning, practice, and assessment time with respect to the outcomes and contexts of a course or standard. One full-time year of study (1 EFTS) equates to 120 credits.

Credit Recognition and Transfer (CRT)
A process where credit for outcomes already achieved by an ākonga through formal study is recognised as credit for comparable outcomes in another qualification.
Encompasses both Credit Transfer and Cross Credit.

Credit Transfer (CT)
Credit for previous formal learning passed at Te Pūkenga or at another educational institution.

Cross Credit (CC)
Credit at course or standard level for a course or standard awarded towards another programme at Te Pūkenga or another educational institution.

Delegated authority
The kaimahi who has been given the right to make decisions on specific matters by Te Poari Akoranga Te Pūkenga Academic Board.

The various aspects of a provided learning experience, including the content and context of the programme, resources, staff, teaching and learning strategies and assessment activities.

Distance online
Delivery through an online learning management system [LMS] which may include webinars / virtual lectures (recorded or live), online tutorials and discussions (synchronous or asynchronous), individual and group work.

Equivalent full-time learner (EFTL) is a measure of the size or workload associated with a course, programme, or qualification. One EFTL unit is defined as the ākonga workload that would normally be carried out in a single academic year (12-month period) by an ākonga enrolled full-time, and generally equates to 120 credits.
Replaced EFTS as the measure in 2023 TEC Funding Conditions.

Equivalent full-time student (EFTS) as above. Replaced by EFTL in 2023 TEC Funding Conditions.

The process of allocating a place in a Programme/Course to an eligible student.

Fees charged by Unitec, including but not limited to tuition fees, resource fees, student services fees, course compulsory costs and administration fees but excludes any non- refundable enrolment fee.

International Student Support Services
Unitec’s dedicated team in supporting our International Learners. The team can be reached here. Alternatively, an appointment can be made to speak with them at Unitec’s Mt. Albert Campus.

Extended kinship group or tribe or people. Often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor and associated with a distinct territory.

Teacher or facilitator of learning.

Te Pūkenga staff member, includes kaiako, learning advisor (WBL), ākonga support, and allied services.

The purpose and goals of an organisation.

Kaupapa Māori
Initiatives, elements, or ideas, that reflect a Māori world view.

A stand-alone education product intended to enable ākonga to access specific knowledge and skills in a cost-effective and time-efficient way. They are smaller than qualifications, with a tight focus on developing skills to meet the immediate
needs of industry, employers, iwi and/or community.

National Student Index (NSI)
National Student Index. The system maintained by the Ministry of Education that contains registration details for all ākonga known to the Ministry. The NSI assigns a lifetime identification number (NSN, National Student Number) to each ākonga.

Negative Service Indicator (NSI)
A code that is added to a Student’s record on the Student Management System to prevent access to various Unitec systems, functions and services.

No Show
Ākonga who are enrolled and have not formally withdrawn in writing or via a Change Enrolment Request form can only be considered “No Shows” if they have not:

  • Signed an attendance register; or
  • Attendance is recorded in SEAtS; or
  • Submitted Course work or other forms of assessment; or
  • Accessed Moodle or any of the electronically based class material after a Class Start Date.

A programme of study or training leading to a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. A programme is made up of one or more Courses.

Recognising Prior Knowledge and Skills (RPKS)
Te Pūkenga overarching term for assessing and recognising learning to award credit towards a qualification, course or standard. The credit may be from previously credited learning or non-credited learning. Recognising learning and awarding credit is undertaken by evaluating ākonga skills and knowledge in relation to the graduate profile or other learning outcomes of a programme, component of learning, or assessment standard.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Individuals, groups, or organisations with an interest (or ‘stake’) in the outcome of a qualification.

Unitec’s attendance tracking application.

Short Courses
Study or training that is neither a Programme nor a Training Scheme. Short courses are typically not TEC funded.

Te Kawa Maiorooro
Educational Regulatory Framework for Te Pukenga.

Te Poari Akoranga
Te Pūkenga Academic Board established by Te Pūkenga Council in accordance with Section 324(2) of the Education and Training Act 2020.

The Tertiary Education Commission. (Go to the TEC website).

Third Party
Any person or organisation (other than the Student themselves, TEC or Study Link) that will be paying for a Student’s Fees.

Student Central
One of Unitec’s frontline centres where Ākonga can seek advice on Programmes and Courses and make payments to the cashier. There is a frontline centre located at Unitec’s Mt Albert Campus and Unitec’s Waitakere Campuses.

Reference Documents

Approval Details

Version number: 6

Issue Date: 1 January 2023

Version History: See below

Approval authority: Academic Committee

Date of Approval:  7 December 2022

Procedure Sponsor (Has authority to approve minor amendments): Deputy Chief Executive Academic

Owner: Director - Enrolments & Academic Operations

Contact Person: Operations Manager

Date of Next Review: November 2024

Amendment History

Version: 6
Issue date: 1 January 2023.
Reason for revision: Updates to align with Te Kawa Maiorooro v23/01.
Approved by: Deputy Chief Executive Academic.

Version: 5
Issue date: April 2022
Reason for revision: Amendments made to Section 9. Change of Sponsor and Contact Person.
Approved by: Executive Leadership Team.