FAQs for TEOs

FAQs for TEOs

Last updated 31 August 2021
Last updated 31 August 2021

Can TEO’s apply for additional HAFL funding? If so how do they go about applying for this?

Rather than TEOs applying for funding, we allocate HAFL funding through a formulaic based allocation methodology. TEC will contact you directly about any allocations you might receive. We allocated most of the HAFL 2021 funding mid-2021. And, we are currently allocating the remaining funding for work-based learners and to some TEOs that haven’t received a 2021 HAFL allocation.  

Can international students approach their TEO to receive funding through this fund too?

The funding is tied to learners who are eligible for the tuition subsidies under the HAFL eligible funds. These funds, apart from the Industry Training Fund, require learners to be domestic learners.

Will TEC approve cash payments to students instead of supplying physical equipment to enable them to buy devices online (either new or second hand)?

The conditions of the fund require TEOs to own any devices bought for learners.  This is so devices can be distributed to other learners in future - the funding is for enrolled tertiary learners. There is also a need for clear reporting on the funding used, nature of support provided and number of learners supported.  Distributing cash to learners might make keeping records of how the funding is spent difficult, and also make it challenging to collect the devices afterwards.  However, if all options have been explored and this is the best way to proceed then please do so. The learner will need to return the laptop to you following completion or withdrawal from their course/s with you. You will also need to keep a devices register as required by the funding conditions.

What has changed in this year’s Hardship Fund for Learners?

There are now two purposes for the 2021 Hardship Fund for Learners: the Hardship Purpose and the Technology Access Purpose.

HAFL funding for the Hardship Purpose now also includes funding for internet access, regardless of a COVID-19 restriction such as a lockdown.

HAFL funding for the Technology Access Purpose includes funding technology that was previously funded through the Technology Access Fund for Learners (TAFL). This is for certain circumstances where face-to-face learning is affected such as by changes in COVID-19 Alert levels or when a learner is identified to be in a community cluster, is self-isolating and unable to return to campus for study.

Regardless of which purpose funding is used for, we expect providers to prioritise and allocate funding according to learner needs.



Who has received HAFL funding?

We have published a list of TEOs that have received a HAFL allocation on our website.

List of TEOs with HAFL.

How do we receive HAFL funding, including any additional funding?

Funding for HAFL is allocated by the TEC in two tranches. The first tranche has been fully allocated. The second tranche will be available from from 1 July 2021, using the same allocation methodology as the first tranche. A portion of the total funding available has been reserved to provide direct support to learners if COVID-19 restrictions are imposed for a period of time. If extended COVID-19 restrictions are not experienced, the TEC will provide additional information and guidance to eligible TEOs on how the remaining funding will be allocated, either directly to providers or on request from providers.

Can a provider accept the funding if they previously declined it?

TEOs who had previously declined to receive HAFL funding have been contacted by the TEC.  Those TEOs were invited to submit an expression of interest for HAFL funding in case their learners’ circumstances have changed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 in August 2021. Based on the responses, the TEC would then look to allocate some of the remaining HAFL funding to them.

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

There is no strict cap on how much support can be given to any one learner. However, we expect TEOs to exercise sensible discretion, and to identify and prioritise learners who are in greatest need.

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 on the TEC’s website.

Is there a limit on how much I can spend under the Hardship Purpose or the Technology Access Purpose?

There is no strict cap on how much you can spend under either purpose of the Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL). We expect providers to prioritise and allocate funding according to learner needs.

With support given to TEOs through the Technology Access for Learners Fund (TAFL) last year and in the absence of a prolonged lockdown, we expect providers to spend most of their HAFL funding for the Hardship Purpose.

Nevertheless, TEOs retain the flexibility to allocate some HAFL funding for the Technology Access Purpose in the event of COVID-19 restrictions that hinder face-to-face learning.

My organisation has an ongoing hardship initiative with our own funding – can we retrospectively use the HAFL funding for it?

No, you cannot retrospectively use the HAFL funding. The HAFL funding period is specified in your funding letter.

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

Yes, if your organisation views that these initiatives are the best way to allocate HAFL to learners facing the greatest need. All learners, including international students, will be able to access the initiative as long as the primary group accessing it are eligible domestic 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 Learner Technology Support Strategy?

The purpose of the Learner Technology Support Strategy (LTSS) is to help us understand your approach (if you were going to use some of your HAFL funding for the Technology Access Purpose) and ensure that funding is adequately prioritised to support learners.

Given that there are currently no COVID-19 restrictions within New Zealand, we understand that you may need time to consider whether you will use the HAFL funding for the Technology Access Purpose. Therefore, you are required to submit this Strategy within 15 working days of COVID-19 restrictions being in place.

Although we require a Strategy from your organisation, our priority is to assist learners as quickly as possible. With that in mind, when an event occurs (e.g. someone goes into quarantine) you may use the funding for technology access purpose, and you do not need to wait for us to approve your Strategy. We will review your Strategy and contact you if we have any questions. Please contact us if you are unsure at any time around this process.

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

Yes. 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 funded learners are also funded under 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 eligible to receive HAFL funding, and vice versa.

Why have TEOs been chosen to manage and distribute the money?

Similar to 2020, we place trust in TEOs to identify learners in need. Most TEOs have the infrastructure in place to identify learners’ needs and provide support, so they have the ability to provide assistance to learners quickly. You are also best placed to understand the hardship needs within your student populations, which enables you to prioritise the funding effectively. This also supports learners to maintain their relationship with you during this challenging time.

Are we able to use HAFL to fund travel for learners?

Yes, HAFL may be used to fund travel in limited circumstances. For example, if the learner had a family emergency, or if a regional lock-down meant having to travel to a different campus. This does not include holiday travel.

Are industry trainees eligible for HAFL?

Industry trainees are eligible for the Technology Access Purpose of HAFL, subject to funding being made available to their TEOs. TEOs that receive industry training funding may be allocated funding for the Technology Access Purpose during a period of prolonged COVID-19 restriction that hinders face-to-face training. For example, a one-month regional alert Level 3 lockdown.