Student Achievement Component – Provision at Level 3 and above on the NZQF Fund

Student Achievement Component – Provision at Level 3 and above on the NZQF Fund

Last updated 6 October 2021
Last updated 6 October 2021

The Student Achievement Component (SAC) is the Government’s contribution towards the cost of teaching and learning services for students enrolled at a tertiary education organisation (TEO).

Students must be studying towards a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

The SAC comprises two funds; the SAC – Provision at Level 3 and above on the NZQF Fund (SAC level 3 and above), and the SAC – Qualifications at Levels 1 and 2 on the NZQF Fund (SAC levels 1 and 2).

Information on these pages relates to SAC level 3 and above funding.

Information about SAC level 1 and 2 funding is available on the SAC levels 1 and 2 webpages.

The Minister of Education is consulting on a proposed variation of conditions to set limits on fees that TEOs may charge to domestic students for new courses. See the New Zealand Gazette Notice for more information.

In addition see:

  • Equity funding for information about the Government’s contribution to improve access to SAC-funded tertiary education for, and the achievement of, Māori students, Pasifika students, and students with disabilities
  • Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) funding for information about the Government’s provision for fees-free SAC-funded tertiary education places for Māori and Pasifika students (to acquire the skills needed to enter into a New Zealand Apprenticeship or equivalent).
  • Vocational education and training (VET)

Key changes

Confirmed student enrolments

Effective for course enrolments starting on or after 1 January 2019

From 1 January 2019, TEOs must report all course enrolments where:

  • the TEO has charged the student a fee(s), and
  • the fees refund period has passed, and
  • the TEO has retained all or part of the fee when the student withdrew.

The reporting requirement is regardless of whether or not:

  • the TEO actually claims TEC funding, and/or
  • the student’s withdrawal date is before or after the threshold for claiming funding.

The TEO must report these enrolments under Source of Funding (SoF) 31 alongside course enrolments that are not eligible for TEC funding where the TEO retains student fees.

See Confirmed student enrolments on the Enrolments page.

The reporting requirement for the ‘Confirmed student enrolment’ condition (page 133 of the 2021 Funding condition) were expanded to include course enrolments where the fees refund period has passed and fees (or a portion of fees) are retained (less any administration charge), and the threshold for claiming TEC funding has passed, but no TEC funding is claimed.

Short learning packages (including training schemes, micro-credentials, certificates of proficiency, and single course enrolment)

We have published criteria for increasing the funded delivery of short learning packages. The guidelines can be found here: 

2021 Guidelines on increasing funding for short learning packages (PDF, 620Kb)


We have provided guidance about fees refunds and holding a fees refund as credit for future enrolment.


There are changes to student loan borrowing for fees-free aviation students. See Aviation under Programme eligibility.

Learning hours

We have clarified our requirements for entering learning hours information into the Services for Tertiary Education organisations (STEO) learning hours fields. See Learning hours, under Duration, under Information about qualifications, on the Qualifications and courses page.

Recognition of learning / prior achievement

We have better aligned our information with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA’s) guidelines. See Recognition of learning / prior achievement on the Enrolment, and Funding and payments pages.

International students enrolled post-graduate research programmes

Funding for international students enrolled post-graduate research programmes is changing at the end of 2018. From 1 January 2019, only international students enrolled in a PhD will be eligible for tuition subsidy.

See International students under Student eligibility on the Eligibility page.

Source of Funding 03

We have clarified use of Source of Funding (SoF) 03. See Reporting and the SDR manual for further information.

Note that, for programme enrolments starting on or after 1 January 2018, SoF 03 must only be used to report course enrolments in qualifications not approved in STEO as eligible to access SAC level 3 and above funding, or doctoral study provision where the 4 EFTS threshold for using SoF 01 has been surpassed.


Other resources include: