Otago Polytechnic

On Tuesday 14 April, the Government announced it will spend more than $130 million on a student support package to help financially embattled students dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Education Minister, Chris Hipkins said "We are announcing a domestic tertiary student package to:  

  • help cover extra costs, by increasing the student loan amount available for course-related costs for full-time domestic students from $1,000 to $2,000 (on a temporary basis); 
  • continue support payments for students unable to study online for up to 8 weeks; 
  • make technical changes to ensure that: 
    • where students receive partial tuition fee refunds in 2020 because their course has been discontinued due to COVID-19, this will not affect their future entitlement to student loans 
    • where students are unable to complete a course of study in 2020 due to COVID-19, this will not affect their entitlement to Fees Free tertiary study.

This package means students who cannot access their courses online will continue to receive their student loan payments as normal throughout the four-week lockdown period, and for up to four weeks afterwards. This flexibility is already available for student living allowances.

These measures...will provide an immediate response to the financial impact COVID-19 is having on tertiary students. It will support students to stay engaged in their education." 

Who is this package for?

  • This package applies to full-time, domestic students studying at a Polytechnic, a University or a Private Training Establishment this year whether you are enrolled already or are planning to enrol. 
  • Where students were full-time but will be reduced to part-time (as a result of Otago Polytechnic's change to a later end date), StudyLink can update the student's allowance/loan to make sure they remain entitled.
  • This will only apply to students who were already full-time or approved Limited full-time status. Anyone already ineligible due to being part-time won't now become eligible.  

When is this available?

Domestic students who are enrolled in full-time tertiary study can access this support from Wednesday 15 April

What do students have to do to apply for support? 

Information will be available from StudyLink and the Ministry of Education (under Advice for Tertiary Students)

Do students have to extend their allowance or loan? 

No. You will be able to opt out if you do not want to increase your loan. 

How do students seek urgent assistance? 

If students need assistance with urgent or unexpected costs, they can phone the StudyLink Contact Centre on 0800 889 900 between 8.00am-5.00pm or visit this webpage.

In addition, they can also get in touch with StudyLink by submitting an email here.


> For more background information, read Education Minister Chris Hipkins announcement here. 

Published on 15 Apr 2020

Orderdate: 15 Apr 2020
Expiry: 30 Jul 2020