Intensive Literacy and Numeracy – Refugee English Fund

Who applies? ITPs, PTEs, Universities, Wānanga Fund focus: Migrants, Refugees, Adults, Youth
Status: Ongoing Agreed through? Investment Plan (on Plan)

The Refugee English Fund provides fees-free access to programmes leading to an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification for up to 400 refugees annually.

The purpose of the fund is to support refugees to reach a level of English that will allow them to enter employment, or undertake their choice of vocational or degree-level education.

Programmes funded through the Refugee English Fund must be delivered fees-free and lead to a recognised ESOL qualification at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). They must also comply with the requirements under the funding mechanism for the Student Achievement Component (SAC).

The tertiary education organisations (TEOs) that are eligible to receive the Refugee English Fund must have experience in educating refugees.


The Specialised English for Speakers of Other Languages funding mechanism is issued by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for the TEC to allocate the funding and details how we administer the fund.

A TEO that receives funding from the Refugee English Fund is required to:

  • comply with the requirements of the Education Act 1989
  • comply with the funding conditions specified in the TEO's funding confirmation letter.


  • Last changed: 16 February 2016
  • Last verified: 16 February 2016