Hardship Fund for Learners 2021

Hardship Fund for Learners 2021

Last updated 20 May 2021
Last updated 20 May 2021

The Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) helps tertiary education organisations (TEOs) provide temporary financial assistance for currently enrolled tertiary learners who are facing ongoing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, hardship means any suffering, deprivation or financial challenge faced by a learner due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is interfering with a learner’s ability to progress with their study.

In 2020, the government announced a Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) as well as a Technology Access Fund for Learners (TAFL) in response to the nationwide lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the continuing support for learners, the Government announced an extension of the Hardship for Learners Fund (HAFL) for the 2021 calendar year.  

The HAFL for 2021 has two purposes:

1 - Hardship Purpose

  • The Hardship Purpose is to provide temporary financial assistance for learners who are facing barriers to continuing their study or training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardship means any suffering, deprivation or financial challenge that is affecting a learner’s ability to access and continue with their study.

2 - Technology Access Purpose

  • The Technology Access Purpose is to support learners and prevent them from experiencing technology-related financial challenges, by providing funding for technology-related costs that occur when COVID-19 restrictions remove the option for face-to-face study. COVID-19 restrictions are defined as: Alert levels restricting face-to-face delivery that either apply throughout New Zealand, to a regional area, or where learners at a provider are linked to a community cluster.

The HAFL funding may be used for both purposes. If you are using HAFL funding for the Technology Access Purpose, please ensure that the use of funding is in response to a COVID-19 restriction.

The TEC will have two tranches of funding available for TEOs – the first tranche will be allocated to TEOs from 1 June 2021. The second tranche will be made available at a later stage. More information is included in the guide for TEOs:

Guidance for TEOs (PDF, 774 Kb)

Eligibility 2021 

Funding and payments 2021

Monitoring and reporting 2021

Conditions 2021

FAQs for TEOs 2021

FAQs for Learners 2021