Each year we invest funding to the value of approximately $2.8 billion in tertiary education. Most of this funding is provided in the Government’s Budget via Vote: Tertiary Education. Occasionally we administer funding on behalf of other government agencies such as Immigration New Zealand.

The Tertiary Education Strategy guides our funding decisions, ensuring that funding supports tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to deliver on the Government's six  priorities for tertiary education. The strategy reflects our expectations for tertiary education and describes how a high-performing tertiary education system can contribute to improved outcomes for individuals and New Zealand as a whole.

How we fund

We provide most funding through an Investment Plan, although there are some funds that are off-plan and some TEOs that are exempt from a plan, that are managed through a funding letter.

Under the Education Act 1989, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment determines the design of the funding mechanisms that we use to fund TEOs. To achieve the desired educational outcomes, we may impose funding conditions and provide guidance for each fund for TEOs to follow. TEOs can also ask us questions by contacting our Sector Helpdesk.

Who we fund

Each fund has specific eligibility criteria that define which TEOs are eligible for that funding. Criteria are usually specified in the Minister's funding mechanisms. Only eligible organisations can be funded.

To learn more about  each TEO type, please see the information about universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), wānanga, industry training organisations (ITOs), private training establishments (PTEs),  and other types of TEOs.

What we fund

We administer a variety of different funds that target different types of tertiary education – we want a system that supports all individuals to achieve. This means focusing funding on improving outcomes for learners, particularly in foundation education, vocational education, and improving priority group participation in education at higher levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

To see a list of our current funds and a brief description of their purpose, see List of current funds.

For more information see our Fund Finder online directory which will direct you to detailed information about each fund.  

  • Last changed: 17 November 2015
  • Last verified: 17 November 2015