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Learner Support

Approval Date
1 November 2018
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
1 October 2021
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience
Baldrige Criteria
Customer focus

To outline the central support services available for enhancing the success and educational experience of learners, including but not limited to, learning advice, career services, IT support, wellbeing, access to primary and acute health care and counselling.

Refer to for information about available services.

This policy also outlines details about a fund to temporarily assist learners who encounter unexpected and short-term financial difficulties.


Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 ( )

Guidelines for the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 – Tertiary (

NZQA rules and guidelines (


1           Support services are available to learners enrolled in all programmes/courses at Otago Polytechnic Limited, and subject to all enrolment terms and conditions such as payment of standard fees and levies (refer to Learner Health and Counselling clauses 5-9 below).

2           Schools/Colleges will advise learners of the range of support services available at orientation. Additional information can be found online at

3           Learners with specific support needs will be identified as early as possible, through the application and enrolment process or as part of learner orientation and induction. An additional abilities assessment may be required to ascertain the best way to support the learner. Refer to Learner Services Wellbeing Advisor for more information.

          Learners may access any support service by self-referral or by referral from staff.

Learner Health and Counselling

          All learners regardless of the EFTS value of the programme enrolled at Dunedin and Central Otago campuses of Otago Polytechnic Limited will be charged a Learner Health and Counselling levy, with the exception of TANZ e-campus, OSTC, CapableNZ, Distance delivery programmes, and Community Computing Programmes. This entitles the learner to access Learner Health and Counselling services, and to ambulance and emergency medical care required while they are on campus.

6           Learners who are New Zealand or Australian citizens or permanent residents are entitled to Learner Health and Counselling services.

6.1           Medical consultations are free on presentation of a Community Services card or an ACC claim, otherwise there is a $15 charge.

6.2       Please check with Learner Health reception for other charges such as but not limited to minor surgery, dressings, and immunisations.

7           Learners completing courses/programmes that have been exempt the learner health levy (distance programmes/courses, short courses, contracted courses/programmes, TANZ e-campus, CapableNZ) may access Learner Health and Counselling services, however, a fee for service payment will be required.

8           Learners enrolled in programmes taught completely away from any campus of Otago Polytechnic Limited will not be charged a learner health levy.

9           Where a programme requires learners to be away from any campus of Otago Polytechnic Limited for less than 45% of their programme duration, and where reciprocal arrangements with other tertiary providers have not been negotiated, schools//programmes may choose in consultation with learners to provide alternative health care arrangements. The cost of any such arrangements is calculated as part of the schools/programme’s clinical placement or work experience expenses.

Learner Assistance Fund

10        The Learner Assistance Fund is a source of one-off emergency grants to be used for situations that could not have been anticipated readily and where money is required to enable the learner to get over a temporary problem and to continue studies with the minimum of disruption or difficulty, e.g. to pay for medicine for a child in his or her care.

11        The Committee that considers the distribution of the Learner Assistance Fund  is made up of:

a.              Student Success Team Leader

b.              OPSA representative

c.              Student Subcommittee chair (or delegate)

d.              Head of College (or delegate)

A majority of Committee members need to agree to the decision (quorum is half plus one).

12        In general, the Committee will not grant assistance in situations that are pre-existing when the learner joined the course/programme, could be anticipated or are likely to be ongoing, for example hire purchase agreements organised or agreed to prior to study beginning, or the cost of maintaining and operating an appliance or service.

13        A learner applying for assistance will be required to complete a confidential “Student Assistance Fund Application Form” (Appendix 1) which records personal details, the learner’s financial details of income and outgoings as well as assets and liabilities. It requires the learner to present a budget and a brief statement of the reason for seeking assistance. In addition, a Student Management System check will be done to confirm that the learner is currently meeting attendance and course requirements.

14        If the Committee is unable to agree on an outcome, the Student Advisory Team Leader will refer the matter to the Director Learner Services for a decision.

15     For more information about this fund and application form contact Otago Polytechnic Limited Students Association (OPSA).


Learner Support SOP - Student Assistance Fund Application Form

Otago Polytechnic Limited Health and Safety policies – refer Otago Polytechnic Limited website

Learners rights and responsibilities - information/student-rights-and-responsibilities/

Learner Support Services -