Funding and payments

Funding and payments

Last updated 20 May 2021
Last updated 20 May 2021

Funding for the Literacy and Numeracy - Refugee English Fund (ILN Refugee English) is set through the Government’s annual budget process.


The Specialised English for Speakers of Other Languages funding mechanism is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

We prioritise funding to tertiary education organisations (TEOs) located in common refugee settlement areas. West Auckland, South Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington (City), Lower Hutt, Porirua, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin are the most common refugee resettlement areas, but other refugee resettlement areas are established from time to time. 

When we allocate funding, we consider:

  • whether the TEO is eligible for funding
  • the nature of the provision offered by the TEO, and 
  • the TEO's past performance.

Funding is then agreed through a TEO’s Investment Plan (Plan).

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

Funding allocation

2021 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) - Refugee English indicative allocations

Purpose of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) - Refugee English funding

The purpose of the ESOL – Refugee English 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.

The ESOL - Refugee English Fund is a component of the Specialized English for Speakers of Other Languages funds (Specialized ESOL funds). The purpose of Specialized ESOL funds is to:

  • increase opportunities for adults to engage in literacy and numeracy learning, particularly migrants and refugees
  • raise adults’ literacy and numeracy skills to help learners progress onto further study and employment, and
  • Improve the quality and relevance of provision, including the ability to identify learner needs and learning gain.

Programmes funded through the ESOL - Refugee English Fund must be delivered fees-free and lead to a recognized ESOL qualification at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

How we calculated your 2021 indicative allocation for ESOL – Refugee English

The information below provides a summary of how your indicative allocation was calculated. For more details regarding your specific allocation, please contact or your Relationship Manager.

Your prior performance information informed the calculation of your 2021 indicative allocation.

Starting point

To determine the starting point for calculating your 2021 indicative allocation we compared your 2019 actual ESOL - Refugee English delivery with your 2020 allocation.

Note: Your 2019 actual delivery has been adjusted for any additional funding provided (including flexible funding), funding rate increases, and significant policy changes. Your reviewed 2020 allocation includes Plan changes and excludes one-off adjustments. We make these adjustments to ensure we are accurately comparing your 2019 actual delivery with your 2020 allocation, in dollar terms.

If your 2019 actual delivery was below 100%, we used the lesser of either your:

  • 2019 actual delivery, or
  • 2020 allocation

If your 2019 actual delivery was 100% or above, we used your:

  • 2020 allocation

If you delivered actual ESOL - Refugee English for the first time in either 2019 or 2020, we used your:

  • 2020 allocation

Determining your final 2021 funding allocation

To determine your final 2021 allocation and Plan approval, we will consider the following information in our assessment and/or engagements with you:

  • Your actual delivery of equivalent full-time students as submitted through the December 2019 Single Data Return (SDR) and Actual Reporting December 2019 on Workspace2.
  • Your year-to-date 2020 delivery and any further rate increases.

Key changes to our approach for 2021

In previous years, the starting point was calculated using actual delivery and was not adjusted based on whether delivery was below or at 100%. Further plan increases or in-year adjustments were not accounted for.

We will now take into account if delivery volume was at or below 100% and will include in-year plan adjustments where necessary.

New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology

Allocations for each NZIST subsidiary will be based on the 2020 data for it or for the ITP it replaces.

An indicative funding allocation may be made to a TEO that later transfers delivery to a transitional or other TEO. In that case, we will engage with the new TEO to transfer and adjust the allocation.

Funding rate

Learner fees

ILN Refugee English Fund allocations are based on the usual fees charged by the TEO for a place on the ESOL qualification. This funding covers the cost of learner fees only, as the Student Achievement Component (SAC) is the Government’s contribution towards teaching and learning.

From 1 January 2022, ILN Refugee English Fund allocations increase by 1.2% to accommodate an increase in learner fees.

Pastoral care

TEOs also receive funding of $414.00 per learner place for pastoral care for ILN Refugee English funded learners. From 1 January 2022, this increases by 1.2% to $419.00 per learner place.

A "learner place" is a learner enrolment in a qualification, which may cross calendar years.

This funding is to be used for supporting the educational achievement of these learners and may also be used for pastoral care for other refugee learners at the TEO. We expect the pastoral care funding to be used for support services including (but not limited to):

  • additional tutorial support by teachers and tutorial assistants, including one-to-one tutorials, in-class tutorial support and additional small group tutorial classes such as literacy and/or writing
  • the purchase and loan of supporting materials like textbooks and laptops for use by these students
  • academic co-ordination and career advice
  • child care support
  • additional pastoral care, where appropriate, as well as referral to more general support services available in the community, and/or
  • assistance with transport costs where these costs are a barrier to learning.

We expect each TEO to maintain an audit trail of their expenditure on support services to ILN Refugee English students that shows how the $419.00 per learner pastoral care funding is used.

Funding wash-ups

2020 Intensive Literacy and Numeracy - Refugee English Recovery Methodology

We will write off and not be recovering any under-delivery of 2020 Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN) Refugee English funding approved prior to 1 April 2020 from Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs).


Additional Funding approved since 1 April 2020 will be recovered if there is under-delivery.

Recoveries and write offs are based on:

  • a TEO’s most recent 2020 actual delivery data (measured at the course level), as submitted through Workspace2;
  • actual delivery based on your provider specific rate (per learner); and
  • actual Pastoral Care delivery, calculated at the rate of $407.00 per learner place.

How we will calculate any Recovery of Additional Funding

We will recover under-delivered Additional Funding approved since 1 April 2020.

  • We will calculate the difference between the dollar value of delivery and 2020 funding.
  • Where under-delivery occurs, the Recovery will include learner and pastoral care funding.
  • The Recovery will not exceed the value of Additional Funding approved.

How we will calculate any Recovery, for write off purposes

  • We will write off the dollar value of any Recovery that exceeds the value of Additional Funding approved since 1 April 2020.



If a learner does not successfully complete one or more SAC funded courses in their ILN Refugee English funded qualification programme, then the TEO may re-enrol the learner in the course(s) so the learner can complete the qualification. In these cases, the enrolment in the qualification programme is a continuing ILN Refugee English learner place, so it does not attract further ILN Refugee English funding, but the course re-enrolments do attract further SAC funding (up to the TEO's approved SAC allocation).


If a learner withdraws from a qualification programme without completing all of the SAC funded courses in the qualification programme and, at a later date, the learner re-enrols in the same qualification programme at the same TEO, this is a new learner place that does attract ILN Refugee English funding, as well as SAC funding (up to the TEO's approved ILN Refugee English and SAC allocations).


We make payments in monthly instalments, on the first banking day of each month.