Temporary approval to study remotely

There are a limited number of circumstances under which a learner may apply for temporary approval to study remotely.
Information on who can apply, what the criteria is, how to apply and how applications will be assessed. 


Unitec requires students to hold a current My Vaccine Pass in order to enrol with us and be present on campus.

All programmes at Unitec are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for delivery on-campus or in a blended mode (which involves some on-campus and some online
activity). No Unitec programmes are accredited for delivery in a wholly online mode. While some programmes were delivered wholly online in 2021, this was an emergency response to COVID-19 approved by NZQA. This means that, in order to successfully complete your programme, you will need to attend campus for all or parts of your programme.

However, there are a limited number of circumstances under which a learner may apply for temporary approval to study remotely.

Please note, an exemption does not provide permission for a student to come to campus. Instead, it means a Student Learning Plan has been approved to enable the learner to complete their courses without coming on site, while maintaining academic standards.

Criteria to apply for temporary approval to study remotely

In order to be eligible for consideration for temporary approval to study remotely, a student must be:

  • Continuing in a programme eg. a student who has undertaken courses towards their programme in 2019, 2020 or 2021; AND
  • Scheduled to complete their qualification in 2022.
  • An exemption may not be granted for a course qualifying a learner to work in a profession where vaccination is a requirement, or one covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response Vaccinations Order 2021 or other legal instrument that requires vaccination.

Temporary approval to study remotely will be valid for a single study period only (e.g. a semester).

How to apply for temporary approval to study remotely

A student can apply by filling out the exemption to My Vaccine Pass enrolment requirement form.

Applications must be lodged no later than Friday 4 March 2022.

Unitec is only able to consider temporary approval to study remotely if the School delivering the course is able to support any proposed Student Learning Plan. Therefore, applications are first considered by the relevant School before its recommendation and advice are submitted to the MVP Exemption Panel for consideration.

Application assessment criteria

In assessing an application, the panel will consider the following:

  • Any relevant laws and legal instruments requiring vaccination.
  • The current terms and conditions of enrolment relating to the student.
  • Any and all applicable programme-specific requirements.
  • The School’s recommendation that the student could complete the course off-campus without changing learning outcomes or making changes to delivery requiring a Type 2 change.
  • Whether the accommodations are feasible for the School and institute to implement.
  • The course does not involve a placement for which My Vaccine Pass is required either by way of Public Health Order or relevant Risk Assessment.
  • Whether any accommodations suggested would be acceptable to relevant regulatory bodies.
  • If the student has received a first vaccination and is booked for a second within a timeframe during which they could study away from campus without major changes to delivery being required.
  • Any other consideration the panel sees as appropriate.

The panel will produce a formal decision (per course) and - if the application is successful - an Approved Learner Agreement. Its decision will be communicated to the student, the school and Unitec enrolments.


Panel decisions are final and binding. An appeal may be lodged if an application can provide sufficient evidence of the following:

  • A procedural flaw in the management of the exemption consideration process.
  • New evidence becoming available that could have materially affected the outcome of the process.
  • All relevant factors not being taken into account.
  • The decision was manifestly at odds with the evidence provided.

Appeals must be submitted to the Chief Executive of Unitec within five working days of the Panel issuing its decision.

Study alternatives

Open Polytechnic and e-Campus offer a range of courses delivered by distance learning.