Ministry of Education Bulletin 02/04 – Tertiary Students (Domestic)

2nd of April - An update from the Ministry of Education on some commonly asked questions for Domestic Tertiary Students.

Ministry of Education Bulletins:

Handy COVID-19 Whitecliffe links:

We know some students are facing significant difficulties in continuing their studies, because of changes in their own situation arising from lockdown and/or changes in their providers’ ability to offer courses. Staying enrolled is the best way we can help you.

We will keep updating you with answers to your main questions, provide information on what support is available and tips for your wellbeing during these times. If your question is not answered here today, we will try to provide an answer as soon as possible.

Your physical and mental wellbeing is likely to be impacted during this time. As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online at the Mental Health Foundation ( and Health Promotion Agency (

What is available to support me financially right now?

  • While other options might look better, stay enrolledbecause:
    • You will keep receiving your StudyLink payments
    • You will be eligible for any additional student support being worked on
  • The Ministry of Social Development may be able to help you with other costs while you’re self-isolating. This includes costs that are urgent, unexpected or harder to cover, such as food and accommodation. You can find out more at StudyLink- Urgent and unexpected costs
  • More information on students loans and/or allowances or tertiary education matters more generally can be found at StudyLink and Ministry of Education COVID-19 site
  • Your tertiary provider may also be offering extra help for students during this time, so it’s worth looking on their website / Facebook page, or even contacting them directly to ask.

If I withdraw from my courses, will this have an impact on my Fees-Free entitlement?

  • Yes, this could have an impact on your Fees Free entitlement.
  • We are working urgently to figure out how we will be able to help Fees-Free students who are disadvantaged because they had to withdraw.
  • Stay enrolled in your courses if you can, and continue to engage with your provider about options available to you to continue your studies this year.

What if I can’t afford to pay my rent because I’ve lost my part-time job?

  • If you have been working part-time to help cover your tertiary education costs, you may be eligible for the wage subsidy scheme Government has put in place. You can find further information at COVID-19 Financial support and COVID-19 Wage subsidy
  • There is now a freeze on rental increases. This means your landlord cannot increase your rent unless the increase occurred before lockdown. To find out more, visit rent freeze and tenancy terminations
  • You can ask your landlord to reduce your rent temporarily. The Residential Tenancies Act allows a tenant/s and landlord to agree that the tenant/s can pay a reduced rent temporarily. This reduced rent can be for a specific amount of time or until a specific event occurs. Once that time is up, the rent goes back up to its previous amount.

Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below:

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