About the case

A Private Training Establishment terminated a student’s enrolment after the student allegedly refused to get support for his mental health.

Concerns were raised about the student’s behaviour in class by his tutor and some incidents had taken place on campus, resulting in a warning being made to the student.

In support of the student, the education provider arranged counselling, met with the student and his support person, offered a different training option and ultimately asked the student to get a report confirming he was “stable to cope with class situations, fellow students and his studies”. The student refused to visit the counsellor and some more incidents occurred, resulting in the student being trespassed from the campus. The provider alleged that despite all their support efforts the student’s mental health impacted on his ability to act in a mature way and it therefore had the right to terminate the student’s contract.

When the student’s enrolment was terminated the student referred a dispute to NZQA. NZQA found the provider had breached parts of the Private Training Enterprise Registration Rules. The student also referred the dispute to iStudent Complaints, claiming “cultural favouritism” had taken place, harassment about his mental health and that false claims had been made about the student physically assaulting a staff member. The student wanted a full refund of his study fees.

How we helped

iStudent Complaints appointed a mediator and a mediation took place between the student and education provider, but they were unable to resolve the matter together. The student asked iStudent Complaints to adjudicate the matter. The adjudicator asked both the student and education provider to outline their positions and provide supporting information so they could make an independent decision on the matter.


The student’s complaint was partially upheld by the adjudicator.

The adjudicator dismissed the student’s claim about cultural favouritism as no evidence was submitted to support this allegation. She also found there was insufficient evidence to comment on the alleged physical assault. 

The adjudicator did agree with the student that the education provider had not fulfilled their contractual obligation to the student. iStudent Complaints found that it was reasonable for the provider to refund a portion of the student’s tuition fee.