FAQs for TEOs

FAQs for TEOs

Last updated 19 May 2020
Last updated 19 May 2020

How did you calculate my Hardship Fund for Learners allocation?

HAFL funding has been automatically allocated to all eligible TEOs using a formulaic model. This model takes into account each TEO’s funding allocation, with additional weighting based on factors such as estimated need. An explanation of the model is available on the TEC website.


How can we apply for HAFL funding or for additional funding?

As all Hardship Fund for Learners funding has been allocated, we do not currently have an additional funding round planned. However, if funding does become available, either due to TEOs not accepting, or returning unused funding, we will let the sector know and seek to re-allocate it.

Is there a limit on what we can spend per learner?

There is no cap on how much support can be given to any one learner. However, we have an expectation that TEOs spend the funding responsibly and in a way consistent with the purpose of the Fund.

Please note, you are required to keep records and report the amount of money given to each learner. Your total spend and the number of learners supported will also be published and periodically updated on the TEC’s website.

My organisation has already implemented a hardship initiative with our own funding – can we retrospectively use the HAFL funding for it?

Yes. If you have an existing COVID-19 hardship initiative that was announced on or after 23 March 2020 (the date the alert level 4 plan was announced) and it meets the conditions and guidance in this document, then you may use the funding for it. However, the use must be reported as per the reporting guidelines.

If your organisation had already established an initiative to help learners facing hardship from COVID-19, but the initiative does not meet the HAFL conditions, we would happy to discuss whether HAFL funding can be used for it. Please contact us at customerservice@tec.govt.nz.

Can HAFL be used to fund initiatives that benefit many learners, such as food banks?

Yes, if you believe that such initiatives are the best way to support your learners. While we do not expect you to take the details of every learner who used such a resource, you will need to keep records of the initiative, and report the expenditure and approximate number of learners assisted.

What is the purpose of the Hardship Fund Strategy?

The purpose of the Hardship Fund Strategy is to help us to understand how you intend to spend your HAFL allocation, and ensure that assistance is provided to your learners which need it the most. 

My organisation is not going to use all of its Hardship Fund for Learners allocation – can we return it?

Yes. As there is only limited funding available, if you do not think you are going to use all of your Hardship Fund for Learners allocation please contact us at customerservice@tec.govt.nz so we can re-allocate the funding to help learners at other TEOs.

Are students who are funded under Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) eligible to receive support?

Yes, as MPTT funding comes from either Student Achievement Component – Level 1 and 2, or Student Achievement Component – Level 3 and above, these students are eligible. Students who have received Learner Success Funding through MPTT are still able to receive HAFL funding, and vice versa.

Why have tertiary education organisations been chosen to manage the money?

As most TEOs have the infrastructure already in place to identify their learner’s need and provide support, the Hardship Fund for Learners allows learners to receive assistance quickly. TEOs are also best placed to understand the hardship needs within their student populations, which enables them to prioritise the funding effectively. The Hardship Fund for Learners also supports learners to maintain their relationship with providers during this challenging time.

Can this fund be used to pay for students’ course fees?

No. The hardship fund is intended to cover any basic living costs that the TEO’s currently enrolled learners are unable to meet. This does not include course fees. However, if a learner is struggling with living costs, then targeted hardship support should enable that learner to free up funding to cover those course fees.