FAQs for Learners

FAQs for Learners

Last updated 9 September 2021
Last updated 9 September 2021

How do I know if I’m eligible to access this Hardship Fund?

Most domestic learners are eligible to receive support from the Hardship Fund. Please contact your tertiary provider to discuss what support you may require and be eligible for.

If you are an industry trainee and you need financial support, the Ministry of Social Development has a number of initiatives that may be of assistance to you, including the Wage Subsidy. Because funding for HAFL is limited, industry training providers may be eligible to receive funding from the TEC to support technology needs.

If you are not eligible for individual assistance under the HAFL funding, you may still be able to benefit from group initiatives organised by your provider such as the food bank.

How will students know that this support is available?

The Tertiary Education Commission will work with learner representatives and provider groups to improve learner awareness of and accessibility to this support and ensure clarity for tertiary education organisations on how the funding can be used.

How will the Tertiary Education Commission work with learner representatives and provider groups to improve learner awareness of and accessibility to this support and ensure clarity for tertiary education organisations on how the funding can be used?

TEC will use a number of its channels (including social media) to engage with learners and providers to increase awareness of the funding, and ensure everyone has clarity about how support can be accessed.  

How will my TEO distribute the money?

The Hardship Fund will be distributed to students through their tertiary provider. Most tertiary providers already have the infrastructure in place to identify needs and provide support. Distributing this fund through them allows students to receive the funding quickly. Providers are also best placed to understand the hardship needs within their student populations, which enables them to prioritise the funding more effectively.

How can I access the fund?

The funding will be allocated to your tertiary provider. Please contact your tertiary provider to discuss what support you may require and be eligible for.

My provider has a complicated application process for this support. How is accessibility being improved?

We expect that all tertiary providers who receive HAFL funding engage with their learners about the fund and their use of it. TEC will work directly with learner representatives and provider groups to manage this additional funding.

There is guidance available on TEC’s website for tertiary education organisations on the use of the Hardship Fund.

What can this money be used for?

This money can be used to cover essential living costs that you are unable to meet such as food, internet, utilities, rent or other unexpected expenses. 

Your provider can also use the money to support you in accessing technology-enabled tertiary education and training, where your learning has been disrupted due to COVID-19.

How much can I receive from this fund?

There is no cap on how much support you can receive. However, your provider is expected to spend the fund responsibly and in a way that is consistent with the purpose of the fund. They are required to keep records and report the amount of money given to you. Their total spend and the number of learners they supported will be published and periodically updated on the TEC’s website.