Our current funds

This page lists all the Tertiary Education Commission's current funds and a brief description of their purpose.

Each fund is only included in one category, although they may have more than one purpose.

For more in-depth information on each fund please search for the fund you are interested in using the Fund Finder. To learn more about how we fund, who we fund, and what we fund please see the Funding page.

On this page:


Funding for teaching and learning

Student Achievement Component (SAC) Level 3 and above

SAC 3+ is the Government's contribution towards the provision of teaching and learning for students enrolled in qualifications at level 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  

Student Achievement Component (SAC) Levels 1 and 2 (Non-Competitive)

SAC 1 and 2 (Non-Competitive) funding encourages the provision of essential foundation skills and progression to further education at a low cost to learners studying at levels 1 and 2 on the NZQF. Funding is allocated through an Investment Plan.

Student Achievement Component (SAC) Levels 1 and 2 (Competitive)

SAC 1 and 2 (Competitive) aims to provide essential foundation skills at a low cost to learners by funding tertiary education organisations (TEOs) that are best able to meet the needs of these learners. This is achieved through a competitive allocation process to ensure the quality and relevance of the provision at levels 1 and 2 on the NZQF.  

Youth Guarantee (YG)

YG provides funding for fees-free tertiary places for learners aged between 16 and 19 to study at levels 1, 2, and 3 on the NZQF. The purpose of this funding is to improve the transition from school to further education or the workplace, increase educational achievement, and to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment, or training (NEETs).

Māori and Pasifika Trade Training (MPTT)

MPTT funding provides fees-free tertiary places for Māori and Pasifika learners aged between 18 and 34 to acquire the skills needed to enter into a New Zealand Apprenticeship or equivalent. This funding is paid to TEOs that are part of an approved consortium. It has three components: a fees top-up, a brokerage payment and the tools grant payment. 


Gateway funding enables secondary schools to give senior students access to structured workplace learning integrated with school-based learning. Students have their learning assessed in the workplace and can achieve credits on the NZQF and the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate Schools

Funding for ICT Graduate Schools that deliver industry-focussed ICT education, ICT research and development, built on connections between tertiary education organisations and businesses. 

Equity funding

Equity funding supports tertiary organisations to improve access, participation, and achievement for Māori and Pasifika learners at the higher levels of the tertiary education system (level 5 and above on the NZQF) and students with disabilities in tertiary education.

Medical Trainee Intern Grants

Medical Trainee Intern Grants are paid to the University of Otago and the University of Auckland to provide a stipend for domestic medical students working as interns as part of their sixth year of study. 

Adult Literacy Educator Grants

Adult Literacy Educator Grants build the capability of educators and trainers to effectively teach adults literacy and numeracy skills by assisting them to access appropriate qualifications.   

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Funding for Literacy and Numeracy and English for Speakers of Other Languages

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN)

ILN supports the intensive provision of literacy and numeracy learning opportunities to learners with low literacy and numeracy skills within an appropriately structured environment.

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy – English for Speakers of Other Languages (ILN – ESOL)

ILN – ESOL provides fees-free intensive ESOL learning opportunities, particularly for migrants, to help adult learners gain the literacy and numeracy skills needed to progress to further study or the workplace.

Refugee English Fund

Refugee English funding supports refugees to reach a level of English that allows them to undertake further education, enter the workplace, and feel comfortable using English through fees-free access to programmes leading to an ESOL qualification.

English for Migrants

This Immigration New Zealand fund, administered by the TEC, enables migrants to New Zealand to pre-purchase English language tuition to help them settle into New Zealand communities, the workplace, or progress into further education.

Employer-led Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WLN)

Employer-led WLN funding is provided to employers to set up a sustainable literacy and numeracy programme to increase the literacy and numeracy skills of employees that reflect the needs and priorities of their workplace.

TEO-led Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WLN)

TEO-led WLN funding is to develop the literacy and numeracy skills of employees. It is delivered by TEOs in a workplace context in order to increase the productivity of companies.

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Funding for Adult and Community Education

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Communities

ACE in Communities funding is for informal education provided by private training establishments (PTEs), rural education activity programme (REAP) providers and community organisations. It is focused on meeting Tertiary Education Strategy priorities, addressing foundation education needs, and providing pathways into further education or the workplace.

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Wānanga

ACE in ITPs and Wānanga is prioritised funding that focuses on the learning of foundation skills, the re-engagement of learners in education and ensuring the progression of learners into more formal tertiary education.

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Schools

ACE in Schools is focused on learners aged 16 and older with the highest needs. It is prioritised for literacy, digital literacy, and numeracy, English language and English as a second language, New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo Māori.

Search and Rescue Adult and Community Education (SAR ACE)

SAR ACE funding ensures quality search and rescue provision is available to volunteers so they can acquire the skills and accreditation they need.

Emergency Management Adult and Community Education (EM ACE)

EM ACE funding ensures quality emergency management, civil defence, and firefighting training is available for volunteers so they can gain the skills they need.

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Funding for industry

Industry Training Fund (ITF)

The ITF subsidises formal, structured, employment-based training linked to qualifications at levels 1–4 on the NZQF covering New Zealand Apprenticeships, industry training and industry-related projects.


Funding for research capability

Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF)

PBRF aims to increase the quality of basic and applied research carried out at TEOs and support world-leading research-led teaching and learning at degree and postgraduate levels by rewarding and encouraging research excellence.

Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs)

CoREs funding is provided to collaborative centres focused on excellent, world-leading, innovative research that contributes to New Zealand’s future development and the education and development of new researchers.

Ako Aotearoa (National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence)

Ako Aotearoa is funded to contribute to excellent educational outcomes for learners by working in partnership with providers to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

Wānanga Research Capability Fund

The Wānanga Research Capability Fund provides funding for building research capability within wānanga, particularly for the creation of specialist knowledge of mātauranga Māori.

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