Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2019

New Zealand education providers play an important role to ensure that International Students are properly looked after, we call this pastoral care. To support this, the New Zealand government has developed the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2019, also known as the Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice sets the standards of care that you can expect as an International Student. It also provides a procedure for complaints that you can follow if you have concerns about the treatment you receive from your education provider or an agent of the provider.

Please note: the new Code of Practice for domestic and international students has been approved by the government and will come into force on 1 January 2022. The new Code of Practice can be found here.

Education Code of Practice 2019 (PDF, 736 KB)

How can I get a copy of the Code?

The Code of Practice can be downloaded as a PDF, on the New Zealand Legislation website.

It’s also available in other languages, and includes a pamphlet with a summary of important information for International Students and their families on the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) website.

Code of Practice resources

What if something goes wrong?

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 advises that if you have a concern about how your education provider or agent is treating you, you should first contact your provider and follow their formal complaints process.

Unitec’s complaints process

For more information on how to make a complaint with Unitec, visit our How to Make a Complaint page.

We encourage you to first talk to our International Student Advisors or Student Advocates who can offer you support, guidance, and advice before you make a formal complaint.

Visit our How to Make a Complaint page

Additional support for complaints

If you’re not happy with the outcome and/or complaints process from your education provider, there are other agencies that you can speak to for support.

New Zealand Qualifications (NZQA)

You can raise your concerns with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). If you need more information on the NZQA complaints process, call 0800 697 296 or email

To make a complaint with NZQA

iStudent Complaints

iStudent Complaints, an independent dispute resolutions scheme established by the New Zealand Government, also offers support. The scheme helps settle contractual and financial disputes between International Students and their education providers in a timely, cost-effective, and fair manner. For more information, call 0800 00 66 78 or visit their website.

To make a complaint with iStudent Complaints

Other agencies

There are a number of other agencies that may be able to help you:

Student support services

We have a number of people on campus who offer support, or point you in the right direction.

For a full list of our student services