Although New Zealand Graduate School of Education operates a flexible programme length, the Ministry of Education has defined our two programmes as having an official programme length: 5 terms (15 months) for the primary teacher training programme and 4 terms (12 months) for the secondary teacher training programme.  The Ministry of Education supports our flexibility but still prefers to consider our programmes as having a set length.  This fact is important for understanding NZGSE’s fee structure.

New Zealand citizens, and others who have been granted residence, qualify for an Equivalent Full-Time Student (EFTS) subsidy from the Ministry of Education, which has the effect of reducing fees.  EFTS subsidies apply for the official length of a programme.  For most NZGSE teacher interns, the EFTS subsidy will apply for the whole of their programme.  Some interns take longer than the official programme length to complete and go beyond the period of the EFTS subsidy.

To encourage interns to reduce their training time, NZGSE charges fees by the term.  Teacher interns only pay fees for the number of terms taken to complete the Diploma.  The fees for each term of study are due on the Monday of the second week of the term.  For example, an intern who takes only 4 terms to complete the primary teacher training programme will only pay 4 terms fees: not 5.

For interns who take longer than the official programme length to complete the Diploma, NZGSE itself subsidises the fees for one further term once the EFTS subsidy is ended.  This is done to avoid excessive pressure on interns to finish for financial reasons within the official programme length.  It is better that they take a little longer so that they develop their teaching skills in a more measured way.  Then they will leave the programme with full confidence to start their teaching careers.  NZGSE is prepared to carry the financial cost for one term to ensure that the end point of a person’s programme is determined by professional needs and not financial pressure.

NZGSE has two different fee rates depending on whether a subsidy is operating or not.

The lower rate

The lower rate is the fee paid by most NZGSE teacher interns most of the time.  This rate is paid by New Zealand citizens, and others who have been granted residence, in the first 6 terms of the primary teacher training programme or the first 5 terms of the secondary teacher training programme.  The lower rate for 2018 is $1642 for the term (GST inclusive).

The higher rate

The higher rate is the fee paid by international teacher interns, and any New Zealand citizens or others who have been granted residence, who enrol in a 7th or subsequent term in the primary programme or a 6th or subsequent term in the secondary programme.  The higher rate for 2018 is $5700 per term (GST inclusive).


Immigration regulations require that international students who have not been granted residence must pay their course fees in advance.  So, at NZGSE international teacher interns pay fees in advance for the official programme length – 4 terms for secondary ($22,800) or 5 terms for primary ($28,500).  This money is held in a trust account.  If an international teacher intern completes the programme in less than the official time, a refund will be made.  If an overseas teacher intern takes longer than the official time to complete the programme, then additional fees will be charged at $5700 per term.


NZGSE is able to offer a flexible length of training because of the high proportion of time spent in schools and the high level of tutor supervision and feedback.  Both of these features of NZGSE’s programmes have an impact on fees.  Teachers’ employment contracts require that an allowance be paid to teachers who have student teachers with their classes.  The following diagram shows how the fees are spent.


  1. Enrolment Fee:  A one-off fee of $150 is payable at enrolment.  (This fee can be paid by student loan.)
  2. Administration Fee:  $50 is charged each term to cover certain incidental costs.  (This fee cannot be paid by student loan.)
  3. You should allow $500 per term to cover books, travel to schools, photocopying, printing and other activities.


NZQA requires that all private training establishments have a fees protection scheme to protect students’ fees in the event of their provider’s financial or educational default.  NZGSE operates a scheme through the Public Trust whereby all our fees are paid into the Trust.  The Trust then progressively releases this money to us.


NZGSE teacher interns have the same access to the student support provisions – such as Student Loans and Student Allowances – as do students training to be teachers at state tertiary providers.  See www.studylink.govt.nz for details.  NZSGE teacher interns are eligible to apply for any scholarships the government may offer, for example in targeted secondary subjects.  See www.teachnz.govt.nz for details.