Otago Polytechnic

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

It is our primary concern and responsibility to look after our international students. Otago Polytechnic has agreed to observe and be bound by The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, published by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Copies of the Code are available from the NZQA website.

Student rights and responsibilities 

Otago Polytechnic is committed to providing an environment that is enjoyable, safe and secure for all students, staff and visitors. All students should be guided by principles of openness, fairness and respect, and should be able to engage in the activities of learning in a manner that strives for excellence.

Rights and responsibilities apply to all students, and act as a guide to the policies and practices within the Polytechnic.

If you have any queries, you can always contact the Customer Services Centre located on the ground floor of F Block, our Student Success Team or your school office. You can also get in touch with the Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association (OPSA) which is there to advocate for you – it’s located in the Hub building on corner of Forth Street and Union Street East. 

Your rights and responsibilities are outlined below. For more detailed information, please click here or download a PDF.

 Your Rights

Our commitments to you:

  • To create an environment where you have all the information and tools required to succeed in your study. You should expect to receive clear, accurate and up-to-date advice about all courses/programmes.
  • To offer you quality learning and teaching experiences from enthusiastic teachers who communicate effectively with you.
  • To keep you informed about what is expected of you as a student.
  • To ensure you have access to information that will assist in your study, including relevant policy and procedures that affect you as a student.
  • To support you in your learning by supplying up-to-date information and course content from staff who are sufficiently current in their respective areas of expertise.
  • To give clear information on how and when assessments will be conducted.
  • To give fair, timely and constructive information on your academic performance.
  • To allow you to provide feedback about your course/programme and the teaching you receive without fear or anxiety about giving that feedback.
  • To advise you of changes to your course/programme as a consequence of feedback provided by students.
  • To allow you reasonable opportunities to have a say about how the Polytechnic operates.
  • To ensure you are treated with respect by students and staff.
  • To enable you to learn in an environment that is free from bullying, harassment or discrimination.
  • To facilitate access to clear and appropriate procedures for dealing with grievances.
  • To ensure you have reasonable access to facilities, student support services, and appropriate resources.
  • To allow you the opportunity to become a voluntary member of a students’ association.

You have the right to a safe and supportive environment and should feel comfortable asking questions or clarifying information with staff. 

If you are concerned that your rights are not being met, please talk to your Programme Manager or Head of School, an OPSA representative or a member of Student Services.

 Your Responsibilities

There are a number of general rules within Otago Polytechnic policies to protect people’s health, safety and rights.

In exercising your rights as a student, you are expected to accept the following responsibilities:

  • To be accountable for your own behaviour and take responsibility for your own learning, including
    • Being self-motivated and self-directed, and undertaking preparation work when expected
    • Actively participating in your programme of study
    • Putting your best efforts into your study
    • Meeting all study obligations such as due dates for work and assessments
    • Submitting your own work
    • Keeping to time with classes and timetables or agreed appointments.
  • To treat all individuals and property with respect.
  • To have awareness for the well-being and safety of others.
  • To provide constructive and useful feedback on teaching, courses and programmes.
  • To promote an environment that is safe and free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
  • To make yourself aware of policies, procedures and rules and to abide by them.
  • To use the resources and facilities of the Polytechnic with due regard to others.
  • To inform your School if you are unable to attend class, practicals or assessments.
  • To ensure you have sufficient personal insurance cover for loss of property in the event that your own property is damaged, lost or stolen.
  • To be aware of and comply with the Copyright Act 1994, covered in our Copyright policy.
  • To be aware of and comply with the Polytechnic’s position on intellectual property, covered in our Intellectual Property policy and our Intellectual Property – Matauranga Maori policy.

The above responsibilities also apply to staff.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

This is a copy of the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment from the enrolment form for domestic and international students. It is important that you read these (including the policies) because when you sign the declaration on the enrolment form, it means that you are accepting these terms and conditions. For a downloadable copy click here

If you are studying at the Auckland International Campus, please refer to the specific Auckland International Campus Terms and Conditions relating to Fees, Cancellation of Programme or Course, Transfers, Withdrawals and or/refunds, and Privacy. Please be aware that all other terms and conditions also still apply to you. 


Confirmation of enrolment will be provided in the form of an invoice. Payment is due within 14 days of the date of the invoice and NO LATER than the programme start date.

Any student who wishes to dispute the fees due must do so within one month of receiving the invoice or statement.  A request to review the fees or account balance must be made within this month, in writing to the Customer Services Manager, Otago Polytechnic.  At the discretion of Otago Polytechnic, and with just cause, this period may be extended.  Once the request is received, the review will be completed within seven (7) working days.  Once the review is completed, any outstanding balance is due immediately.  Depending on the programme or course, fees charged will be one or several of: Student fee, Internet fee, ID card/Library Card fee, Examination fee(s), Student Health Levy, NZQA Unit Standard fees, Clinical Access fee, and Application Processing fee. 

Failure to pay

Failure to pay any invoice(s) by the due date means you will then be liable for all costs and expenses (including legal costs, debt collection agent fees, and this may affect your credit rating) which may be incurred in the recovery or attempted recovery of the overdue amount from you.  Under these circumstances Otago Polytechnic may give to, or obtain from, any relevant third party information held about your personal or commercial credit arrangements.  Academic Results for a student will be withheld for any course or programme where fees or any other debt remains unpaid.  A student will be prevented from graduating or receiving their award(s) until their debt has been paid in full.  The student will also be prevented from re-enrolling in further courses of study.

For more information, please refer to the Student fees policy.

 Cancellation of programme or course

Enrolment in a programme or course is conditional upon and subject to sufficient numbers of students enrolling in the programme or course.


Transfers are negotiated with the Head of School or Programme Manager.  There are no penalties; however, there may be additional fees required or a refund may be due.  Where a student loan has been used to pay fees the refund will need to be returned to StudyLink and a new loan drawn down for the new programme.

 Withdrawals and/or refunds

The key points of Otago Polytechnic’s refund policy MP0351 Students Withdrawal and Refund Policy for Year 2017, are summarised below. If you have any questions, contact your school or Customer Services. Make sure you understand the refund policy before enrolling.

If you want to leave your programme or course, you must formally withdraw by filling out a withdrawal form (available from the School Administrator) and then returning it to the School Administrator. Withdrawal is confirmed from the date this form is received by Otago Polytechnic, and will be used when processing your withdrawal in the Student Management System (SMS). The final date for withdrawing from courses in a programme that commences in 2017 and receiving a refund will be identified on the student’s invoice. The $250 administration fee is included in the fees paid but is separated from the fees refund if a student withdraws before the last date for withdrawal with a refund.

Please note:If you have more than four consecutive weeks of non-attendance in classes, or non-participation in required online activities associated with your programme or course, and we are unable to contact you, you will be withdrawn.






Before the programme start date

Not started


No fee

No result recorded

Domestic Students - for first 10%

Programme commenced


$250 GST incl

No result recorded

Before a course start date where a prerequisite course is not passed

Not started


No fee

No result recorded

International Students – for first 10%

Programme commenced


$500 GST incl

No result recorded

Capable NZ Facilitation

Before facilitation/ assessment process commences


$250 GST incl

No result recorded

Capable NZ Facilitation

From commencement of facilitation/assessment process

Varies depending on services consumed

$250 GST incl


After the last date for withdrawal with a refund but before 80% of the course/programme is completed





After 80% of the programme duration completed

Any withdrawal from a programme will not be processed in the SMS



Did Not Complete (DNC) or Grade attained

(Refer to Grade Table for programme)

Final result entered or programme completed

Any withdrawal from a programme will not be processed in the SMS



Result or Grade attained

Stand alone/short courses: For a stand-alone course which is part of a programme and for short courses, the last date for withdrawal with a refund is usually the first day of the course or short course, which equates to 10% of the course. A $50 GST incl administration fee will be charged for a withdrawal after the course starts and before 10% elapses.

Compassionate consideration: If you withdraw after the last date for withdrawal with a refund, you may be eligible to apply to Customer Services for compassionate consideration. Compassionate consideration may be considered for the following reasons:

  • Medical, supported in writing by a health professional
  • Work related, supported by a letter from an employer.

Customer Services will advise the result of the application for compassionate consideration. An exit interview with either the Student Support Advisor or Career Practitioner will be required as a part of the withdrawal process. To view the full Students Withdrawal and Refund Policy, click here.


The Polytechnic collects and stores information about students to comply with various statutes and/or regulations, to enable us to make decisions regarding your academic progress, and to provide you with evidence of your academic achievements. This information may be also shared with other Otago Polytechnic schools/areas on a “need to know” basis, and is used to arrange appropriate support for students. After graduation, your contact information is used for the graduate destination survey and provided to the Alumni Office.

Where it is relevant, personal information may be disclosed to other agencies such as, but not limited to: the Ministry of Education, Audit New Zealand, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Industry Training Organisations, industry licensing and registration bodies, other tertiary institutions and providers of work experience for students in courses with a practical component. Upon failure to comply with AP0710 International Student Attainment and Attendance policy, information may also be provided to the parent, guardian or caregiver of an international student. 

In addition, when required by law, we will release information as directed.  An information matching agreement exists between the Ministry of Social Development and Otago Polytechnic, which allows payment of loans and allowances.  We will provide information to Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association for its membership records.

Students have the right to request to see and correct if necessary the information you have provided.  If you wish to enquire about personal information held by Otago Polytechnic please contact Customer Services. You will be required to provide some form of valid ID such as a drivers licence or passport if you wish to access your personal information.

Workforce restrictions for children's workforce

If you have a criminal conviction, and you are studying (or considering studying) towards a qualification that will lead to a job in the state-funded sector (including teaching or providing youth services) working directly with children, you will need to check whether your conviction could prevent you from working in some roles in your chosen field. This is because new legislation, the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014, will prevent state sector agencies and government-funded service providers from hiring people with convictions for "specified offences" to work with children in some roles. The restrictions came into effect on 1 July, 2015. 

You can read the list of specified offences online here.

You can get more specific information (including FAQs) here.

This information has been supplied by the Children's Action Plan Directorate and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Other important policies

It is important that you read all of the information and policies surrounding terms and conditions before you apply to Otago Polytechnic. When you sign the declaration on the enrolment form, it means that you accept these terms and conditions. Please also ensure that you have read and understood the following policies before applying:

Recognition of Prior Learning

Application, entry and enrolment

English language requirements

International student attainment and achievement 

Fees and dates

Tuition fees vary between programmes. The fees shown on our online programme information pages are indicative fees. Please note that all fees are for one year of study and in New Zealand dollars (NZD). Fees are likely to increase for each year of study and additional fees may be required for programme materials.

Please click here for a list of Important Dates