PTE course closure

The closure of a course by a private training organisation (PTE) can occur for a variety of reasons. This section explains what happens when a course closes, the responsibilities PTEs have in relation to the closure, and what NZQA's role is during a course closure.

Reasons for course closure

A course may close because:

  • the PTE closes or becomes insolvent; or
  • NZQA determines that a PTE has ceased to deliver a course in which students are enrolled, or is no longer capable of delivering such a course at one or more of its sites; or
  • NZQA withdraws accreditation or course approval for any other reasons.

What happens when a course closes?

If a course stops before its scheduled completion, students may:

  • be offered re-enrolment in a suitable alternative course, if available, to complete the qualification or National Qualifications Framework credits; or
  • receive a partial refund of their fees.

Students who choose to take a partial refund are entitled to a pro rata refund of no less than (but possibly more than) the Student withdrawals and refunds entitlements.

What happens when a PTE closes?

If a PTE voluntarily closes, or is closed as a result of statutory action by NZQA, students will be:

  • offered re-enrollment with a suitable alternative provider, if available; or
  • receive a partial refund of their fees.

A refund is paid by the student fee protection supplier to any alternative provider, loan provider, third party specified by the student, or the student themselves. The Student Fee Protection Policy (see link below) ensures that student fees are protected if a course closes.

NZQA will, together with the provider's student fee protection supplier, provide assistance to the students to transfer to an alternative provider, or receive a partial refund.

For more information refer to Course closures.

Student fee protection

The student fee protection policy aims to protect the interests of domestic and international students where a PTE ceases to offer a course in which a student is enrolled. This protection covers all payments made to a PTE by or on behalf of a student and includes accommodation and living expenses, where applicable.

The student fee protection policy covers:

  • all students
  • all payments made to a PTE, including accommodation and living expenses (includes homestay, living costs and other monies paid to or held by the PTE on a student's behalf)
  • the protection of academic records.

For more information see Student fee protection.

What the policy does not cover

If students voluntarily withdraw from a course, they may or may not be able to get a refund as this depends on the refund policy set by the provider. For more information see Withdrawals and refunds.

PTE's responsibilities

When a course closes, the PTE needs to ensure that:

  • students are kept well informed and understand the options that are available
  • students can transfer to an alternative education organisation and continue their tuition with minimal disruption
  • students who discontinue tuition can receive the appropriate refund of fees without undue delays. For more information see Withdrawals and refunds.
  • risk to student welfare, including interruption of accommodation, is minimised
  • disruption to other organisations involved is minimised
  • New Zealand's reputation as a quality education destination is protected
  • it works with NZQA and other government agencies to ensure the best interests of the students are met.

NZQA's role in course closure

In most cases, NZQA takes on a coordinating role, to ensure the interests of all parties are represented. NZQA representatives visit students on site as soon as possible to ensure that the best interests of the students are looked after.

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