Funding and payments

Funding and payments

Last updated 30 May 2023
Last updated 30 May 2023

Funding for the Literacy and Numeracy - Refugee English Fund (ILN Refugee English) is set through the Government’s annual budget process.


The Specialised English for Speakers of Other Languages 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.

We prioritise funding to tertiary education organisations (TEOs) located in common refugee settlement areas. West Auckland, South Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington (City), Lower Hutt, Porirua, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin are the most common refugee resettlement areas, but other refugee resettlement areas are established from time to time. 

When we allocate funding, we consider:

  • whether the TEO is eligible for funding
  • the nature of the provision offered by the TEO, and 
  • the TEO's past performance.

Funding is then agreed through a TEO’s Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives funding from the ILN Refugee English Fund is required to:

Funding allocation

Indicative allocation

The indicative allocation is our early estimate of the “On-Plan” funding that each tertiary education organisation (TEO) could receive in the following delivery year if its Investment Plan is approved for funding.

We calculate the indicative allocation using a set of allocation methodologies. These methodologies are specific to each fund. We review and revise them every year to ensure they’re aligned to funding determinations and the current tertiary environment.

Indicative allocations are made available through the My Allocations and Payments app on Ngā Kete from 1 June.

For more information, see Indicative allocations by year.

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

Funding rate

Learner fees

ILN Refugee English Fund allocations are based on the usual fees charged by the TEO for a place on the ESOL qualification. This funding covers the cost of learner fees only, as the Student Achievement Component (SAC) is the Government’s contribution towards teaching and learning.

For funding from 1 January 2023, ILN Refugee English Fund allocations increase by 2.75% to accommodate an increase in learner fees.

Pastoral care

TEOs also receive funding of $419.00 per learner place for pastoral care for ILN Refugee English funded learners. For funding from 1 January 2023, this increases by 2.75% to $431.00 per learner place. This is in addition to the 1.2% increase that was applied for the 2022 fund rate.

A "learner place" is a learner enrolment in a qualification, which may cross calendar years.

This funding is to be used for supporting the educational achievement of these learners and may also be used for pastoral care for other refugee learners at the TEO. We expect the pastoral care funding to be used for support services including (but not limited to):

  • additional tutorial support by teachers and tutorial assistants, including one-to-one tutorials, in-class tutorial support and additional small group tutorial classes such as literacy and/or writing
  • the purchase and loan of supporting materials like textbooks and laptops for use by these students
  • academic co-ordination and career advice
  • child care support
  • additional pastoral care, where appropriate, as well as referral to more general support services available in the community, and/or
  • assistance with transport costs where these costs are a barrier to learning.

We expect each TEO to maintain an audit trail of their expenditure on support services to ILN Refugee English students that shows how the funding per learner pastoral care funding is used.

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)



If a learner does not successfully complete one or more SAC funded courses in their ILN Refugee English funded qualification programme, then the TEO may re-enrol the learner in the course(s) so the learner can complete the qualification. In these cases, the enrolment in the qualification programme is a continuing ILN Refugee English learner place, so it does not attract further ILN Refugee English funding, but the course re-enrolments do attract further SAC funding (up to the TEO's approved SAC allocation).


If a learner withdraws from a qualification programme without completing all of the SAC funded courses in the qualification programme and, at a later date, the learner re-enrols in the same qualification programme at the same TEO, this is a new learner place that does attract ILN Refugee English funding, as well as SAC funding (up to the TEO's approved ILN Refugee English and SAC allocations).


We make payments in monthly instalments, on the first banking day of each month.