Education Providers

Get in touch if you need assistance or have any questions

Who are we?

We are a free and independent service to help resolve disputes involving international students or domestic tertiary learners and their New Zealand education providers.

We provide a process that empowers students and providers to resolve matters early and through consensual means where possible. Our aim is to meet the needs of learners studying in Aotearoa, ensuring that they have a voice in the process and that their mana, identity and wellbeing is prioritised. If they are unable to reach an agreed outcome, our service can provide finality through adjudication where a binding decision is issued.

When do education providers get notified of disputes?

Sometimes, if the student has not already let their provider know about the issue, we will encourage them to raise a complaint with you directly first or can assist them in doing so.

Otherwise, Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira will only notify a provider once a dispute has been accepted. Within 10 working days of accepting a student’s dispute, we will advise the education provider in writing of the dispute and next steps.

What does the process involve?

Our initial process involves sharing information and facilitating communications to assist education providers and students to resolve matters early.

If the dispute progresses to mediation or adjudication, the practitioner appointed will outline the process and timeframes to both the student and provider.

Education providers are obliged to comply and Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira is required to report any breach of the Education (Domestic Tertiary Student and International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2023 by a provider.

The outcome of any adjudicated decision is binding on all parties and any mediated agreements can be binding by agreement. Within 20 working days of the date of a resolution of a dispute, a provider or signatory provider must pay to a student claimant any amount it is required to pay to comply with the resolution.

What information is shared and reported?

The Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira process is confidential and personal details about the complaint will not be made available publicly.

For education and awareness purposes, we are required under the scheme rules to publish case studies and thematic reviews of disputes received. When we create a summary of a dispute, any identifying information is removed to protect privacy. We also ask the student and the provider for their consent in our Terms and Conditions.

We must notify the NZQA of the nature of the dispute if we accept it or if we refer it to the code administrator (NZQA) or other appropriate authority.

We are also required to report general operational and statistical information to the Ministry of Education, and this information will always be anonymised.

If we identify any serious misconduct by a provider, breach of the scheme rules by a provider, or systemic issues, we are required to report these to the Ministry of Education, NZQA and any relevant government agencies.

How much does it cost?

Our service is free for both students and education providers. Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira is a government-funded (Ministry of Education) service so there are no fees for either students or education providers who need our assistance.

Can you refer students?

If you have reached the end of your internal complaints process and the matter is not resolved, then get in touch. You can contact Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira or you can refer the student to us directly.

Do you engage with education providers?

We will share learnings and insights from the disputes we manage, so education providers can use these to inform their policies and internal complaints processes. In this way the scheme will support the wider student experience.

We look forward to engaging with education providers and student organisations, in order to ensure that the service is accessible to students, and to work together to improve learner experiences.

Who operates this service?

Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira is part of FairWay Resolution Limited (Fair Way), New Zealand’s largest specialist dispute resolution organisation. Fair Way’s team of expert Resolution Coordinators and Resolution Practitioners are behind the service.

What is your background?

Between 2016 and 2023, Fair Way provided iStudent Complaints, a dispute resolution scheme for international students.

After a formal tender process in 2023, the Minister of Education appointed Fair Way as the operator of the new combined Domestic Tertiary Student and International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme, established by the Education and Training 2020 Act.

Under the name Study Complaints | Ngā Amuamu Tauira, Fair Way will provide this new combined service, following the Education (Domestic Tertiary Student and International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2023.