Adult and Community Education in Te Pūkenga and Wānanga

Adult and Community Education in Te Pūkenga and Wānanga

Last updated 13 January 2023
Last updated 13 January 2023

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Te Pūkenga and Wānanga is for community-based education delivered by Te Pūkenga and its subsidiaries and wānanga.

ACE in Te Pūkenga and Wānanga funding supports:

  • achievement of Tertiary Education Strategy priorities
  • re-engagement of learners in education, and
  • provision of foundation skills development and pathways to other learning opportunities that meet community needs (including further education or the workplace).


TEO eligibility

TEOs must be a tertiary education institution (TEI), namely, the Te Pūkenga or its subsidiaries, or a wānanga.

Programme eligibility

From January 2021, the priorities of ACE in School funding are for programmes that:

  • Improve employability
    • Courses focused on employability
    • Life skills such as financial literacy
    • Introductory ‘taster’ courses
  • Promote social inclusion and cultural inclusion and participation
    • Languages, including Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language (including ESOL), Pacific languages (especially Realm languages) and Asian languages
    • Courses supporting digital inclusion
  • Raises foundation skills
    • Courses in literacy, numeracy and/or digital literacy
  • Improve health and wellbeing
    • Courses such as parenting, mental health and resilience, or conflict resolution/anger management.

ACE funding does not prioritise provision broadly classed as hobby courses (e.g., arts, crafts and music, personal fitness and recreation, and home maintenance). Any funding requests for ACE provision must demonstrate how it meets one of the programme priorities listed above, as well as how the provision addresses community learning needs.

Learner eligibility

TEOs must ensure that learners are domestic students. They must also be aged 16 years or over and not full-time secondary school students unless they met specific criteria set out in the funding conditions.

TEO Responsibilities

TEIs are required to work with Regional Skills Leadership Groups, local iwi, local organisations, peak bodies, local industry, local employers, and communities, including other TEOs involved in ACE, to identify and meet community learning needs, when appropriate for their overall portfolio of ACE provision.

Each TEI must ensure that its funded ACE programme will:

  • address the needs of target learner groups (including the priority learner groups set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy,
  • primarily focus on:
    • acquisition of foundation skills
    • re-engaging learners whose previous learning was not successful, and
    • ensuring the progression of learners into formal tertiary education.  
  •  target ACE provision in foundation skills to learners who have low or no formal qualifications, and
  • target ACE provision in English language/ESOL to learners who identify as having English language needs.

Funding and payments

The Adult and Community Education funding mechanism is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

Funding is agreed through a tertiary education organisation's (TEO’s) Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives ACE funding is required to:

Please refer to the ACE in Communities funding conditions

Funding formula

We determine the appropriate amount of ACE in Te Pūkenga and Wānanga funding for a TEO.

We measure ACE enrolments in equivalent full-time students (EFTS) for ITPs and wānanga. One EFTS is the learner workload that would normally be carried out by a learner enrolled full time in:

  • a single academic year, or
  • a single calendar year.

Funding rate

The funding rate for ACE provision is $4,596.00per EFTS (GST exclusive). 

From 1 January 2022, the funding rate for ACE provision will increase by 1.2% to $4,651.00 per EFTS.

EFTS factors

ACE course EFTS factors are calculated according to the following table. 

Calculating EFTS factors for ACE courses

Course length

Learning type

Course EFTS factor


Less than 20 hours of learner time per week (part-time)


Tutor contact time and test time             

0.0015 EFTS per hour

A course running for 6 part-time weeks for 6 hours a week (36 in total), with 12 hours of this involved in self-directed learning - has a course EFTS factor of: (24 x 0.0015) + (0.00088 x 12) = 0.0466 EFTS


Self-directed learning time that has tutorial support available

0.00088 EFTS per hour

Up to 40 hours of learner time in total


Tutor contact time and test time

0.0015 EFTS per hour

A course of 12 hours, 5 tutor contact hours, 1 hour in a test, 
and 6 self-directed learning hours, has a course EFTS factor of: 
(6 x 0.0015) + (6 x 0.00088) = 0.0143 EFTS


Self-directed learning time that has tutorial support available

0.00088 EFTS per hour

20 or more hours of learner time per week (full-time), and more than 40 hours total


Tutor contact time and test time

0.0300 EFTS per week x the percentage that tutor contact time and test time make-up of the total learning hours

A course running for 4 full-time weeks with 100 hours in total, 70 of which relate to tutor contact time, has a course EFTS factor of: 
(4x 0.03 x 70%) + (0.00088 x 30) = 0.1104 EFTS


Self-directed learning time that has tutorial support available       

0.00088 EFTS per hour


We pay funding for ACE provision in monthly instalments on the first banking day of each month.

Payment amounts are equal from January to June, and equal from July to December.

Funding allocations

2023 ACE in TEIs indicative allocations

The 2023 indicative allocation is our early estimate of each TEO’s ‘On-Plan’ funding that each TEO could receive for 2023 if their Investment Plan is approved for funding. We calculate the indicative allocation using a set of allocation methodologies. The indicative allocation methodologies are specific to each fund and are reviewed and revised every year to ensure alignment to funding determinations and the current tertiary environment.

2023 indicative allocations are made available through the My Allocations and Payments app on Ngā Kete on 1st June 2022. This will include additional details that provide the additional breakdown for the allocations.

The details of the 2023 indicative allocation can be found within the 2023 Global Indicative Allocations Methodology [PDF] (PDF, 514 KB) document.

For more details regarding your specific allocation, please contact or your Relationship Manager.

Funding wash-ups

The methodology and technical specifications for the calculation of 2022 funding wash-ups can be found in the 2022 Global Wash-up Methodology document.

2022 Global Wash-up Methodology (PDF, 1.1 MB)


Each ITP and wānanga is required to report ACE provision through the Single Data Return (SDR), using the funding source code 23.

Please refer to the ACE in Communities funding conditions for reporting requirements. 


We monitor ACE delivered by ITPs and wānanga through the Single Data Return (SDR)