Equity funding

Equity funding

Last updated 20 May 2021
Last updated 20 May 2021

Equity funding supports tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to improve access, participation, and achievement of Māori and Pasifika learners at higher levels of the tertiary education system, as well as participation and achievement of students with disabilities.

One of the objectives of the Education and Training Act 2020 is to encourage a tertiary education system that promotes equal access for all learners. Making education easier to access and improving the achievement of all learners is a core part of the tertiary sector’s contribution to the educational priorities outlined in the Tertiary Education Strategy. TEOs contribute to this by accommodating the diverse needs and aspirations of students of all ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Equity funding is a ‘top-up’ to Student Achievement Component (SAC) Level 3 and above and Industry Training Fund – to help cover the costs of providing extra support for these learners. It is not intended to be the sole or primary source of funding; it should supplement other investments to ensure the success of all learners.

For 2022 equity funding has expanded to provide more funding to all VET providers and arrangers of training (including transitional Industry Training Organisations), rates have increased, and a new category has been added.

Some aspects of the Equity funding information have not yet been updated. This will occur once the Minister issues the funding mechanism for 2022.

The three elements of Equity funding are as follows.  Refer to the Equity funding for 2022 section for more information.

Existing, but expanded Equity funding:

  • Māori and Pacific;
  • Disabilities.

New element of Equity funding:

  • VET learners under 25 years old without a qualification at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualification Framework


We expect all providers to offer the support required for learner success. Information can be found in:

You’ll also find practical information for improving student success at Ako Aotearoa's Resource Centre.