Dunedin student Sam Butler is fast-forwarding his educational ambitions, thanks to the introduction of the Government’s Fees Free tertiary policy.
The policy covers one year’s full-time study, or part-time study up to $12,000 (or 120 credits) and has no age restrictions. This applies to all tertiary programmes at Level 3 or above, including postgraduate qualifications.
Sam had contemplated getting a part-time job and saving before embarking on any tertiary studies. However, motivated by Fees Free, the 17-year-old has instead enrolled at Otago Polytechnic.
He is about to begin a Certificate in Outdoor Pursuits, a level-4 programme that comprises the first year of a two-year Diploma in Outdoor Leadership & Management (should he chose to continue his studies).
“I’ve never been into team sports, but I’ve always liked outdoor education. I’ve never really wanted to have a job that means I’ll end up behind a desk,” Sam says.
“Now I’m going to learn about – and get out and do – rock-climbing, rafting and hiking. There is also lots of theory, including about nutrition.
“Fees Free has made tertiary education more enticing for me. It has pushed my plans forward a year.
“It’s a great way to get kids like me into courses. A mate of mine is doing exactly the same course precisely because of Fees Free. I think it’s a really good thing.”
You can study for free* in your first year at Otago Polytechnic if you’re new to tertiary study or have not previously being enrolled in more than 60 credits at Level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
*Conditions apply. For more information, visit: https://www.op.ac.nz/students/studyforfree2018