MIL-OSI New Zealand: Monitoring update: June 2021

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Source: Tertiary Education Commission

At the TEC, we gather a range of information about common issues through our monitoring activities. We’re committed to partnering with tertiary education organisations, and sharing learnings from our monitoring work to help the sector build capability so we can all achieve better outcomes for learners.
At the TEC, we gather a range of information about common issues through our monitoring activities. We’re committed to partnering with tertiary education organisations, and sharing learnings from our monitoring work to help the sector build capability so we can all achieve better outcomes for learners.

This update includes information about:
Fees Free statutory declarations;
private training establishment (PTE) supply of financial information; and
analysis of recent TEO audits.
Fees Free tertiary education and training statutory declarations
In a number of instances, we do not hold sufficient information to automatically determine the Fees Free eligibility of potential learners. The statutory declaration process enables such learners with an ‘Unknown’ (also known as ‘Maybe’) eligibility status on the Fees Free website to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria to access the Fees Free scheme.
As a reminder, a statutory declaration is not an application form, or a way for you or a learner to check if they are eligible or not.
A statutory declaration is a legal form and must be completed in front of an authorised witness. The information included on the statutory declaration must be true and correct. It is an offence to give any altered, false, incomplete or misleading information, or to make a false statement or declaration.
If you have learners who do not know whether they meet the eligibility criteria, or have further questions about their own circumstances, please do not advise them to submit a statutory declaration.
Instead, please direct these learners to contact the TEC Customer Contact Group on customerservice@tec.govt.nz or 0800 601 301 with any questions regarding the eligibility criteria. Only once a learner is sure that they meet the Fees Free eligibility criteria should they complete and submit a statutory declaration.
Timeliness of the supply of financial information – PTEs
Our funding conditions specify that you must supply to us any financial information that the TEC requires you to provide, as per section 426 of the Education and Training Act 2020.
For PTEs, this includes providing us with audited accounts and forecasts each financial year, within five months of your financial year end. Supplying this information supports our financial viability assessment process, and is particularly important at the moment as we monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the tertiary sector and advise the government on its ongoing recovery planning. It is important to provide this information in a timely manner. If you expect that you will not be able to supply this information within the required timeframe, you should contact your relationship manager, relationship advisor or email customerservice@tec.govt.nz.
Our priority is to support you in meeting your obligations to supply the required information to ensure we have up to date information to assess the financial viability of the organisations in which we invest .
Suggestions for TEOs based on our analysis of recent audits
We have analysed our latest audit findings and outlined three common issues to support your organisation in avoiding the same issues ahead of your next audit.
The Annual Maximum Fee Movement (AMFM)
For those TEOs that receive TEC funding through the Student Achievement Component (SAC) level 3 and above fund the AMFM sets the maximum percentage that you may increase your domestic tuition fees by each year.
The AMFM is set at 1.1% for 2021 and we have identified instances of TEOs rounding up and exceeding this figure without TEC approval.
If you want to increase your fees above the permitted AMFM, by up to an additional 1.1%, then you must apply to the TEC for an AMFM exception. Information about how to apply for an exception to the AMFM is available on the SAC level 3 and above fund page, under the ‘Qualifications and courses’ tab.
Fee discrepancies in Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO)
Recent audits have identified some discrepancies between the fees being charged to students and the fees that are recorded in STEO.
It is a condition of SAC level 3 and above funding that you must report in STEO accurate information regarding the fees you are charging students.
You can update the fees being charged to students through the STEO website. If you have any questions about fees or STEO please email customerservice@tec.govt.nz.
Evidence of eligibility for funding
The TEC requires that you keep certain records to confirm your eligibility to claim TEC funding. Some of our audits have recently found that the following records were missing:
Domestic status – where applicable you must verify a student’s eligibility as a valid domestic enrolment. Verification methods and required documentation are outlined in your funding conditions;
Withdrawals – evidence of withdrawal needs to be captured to ensure student withdrawals are managed and recorded correctly in line with the appropriate withdrawal dates and refund period entitlements set out in the Education and Training Act 2020; and
Ministry of Education (MoE) school exemption letter – where applicable this document must be kept on file for any student that is aged under 16 years of age at the time of enrolment with you.

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