Other issues

What are a school's responsibilities surrounding the enrolment of international students?

The enrolment of international students in a New Zealand state school is governed by Part 1 and section 18A of the Education Act and associated regulations.

Read about July 2016 changes - Ministry of Education website 

Code of practice

Schools that provide tuition to international students for more than 2 weeks, or accept tuition fees for international students, must ensure that they are enrolled.

Schools that enrol international students must be signatories to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. They must be familiar with this document and must adhere to its regulations and standards at all times.

Pastoral Care of International Students Code of Practice 2016 - Legislation website

Education Code of Practice 2016 - NZQA website

Entitlement to enrol

Generally, an international student cannot enrol in a school without the consent of the board and without paying fees. But there are exceptions to this.

The Minister may declare by notice that international students of a specified kind or description may be entitled to enrol at state schools. There may be conditions imposed on this.

See the Education Act section 4A - Legislation website

Definition of a domestic student -  Ministry of Education website

The Minister may by notice exempt particular international students from the payment of fees.

See the Education Act section 4C - Legislation website

An international student cannot be enrolled in a state school if it means a domestic student who is entitled to enrol would not be able to enrol. The exception to this is when a place was specifically made available for international students.

See the Education Act section 4 (5) - Legislation website


Students must have appropriate visas. 

Once enrolled, international students have the same rights as domestic students, subject to fee requirements.

Updated: April 2016

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