About the case

While studying at a Private Training Establishment (PTE) the student was offered a full-time job. After discussion with the provider’s marketing manager, she decided to take on employment instead of continuing her studies. The student believed the provider would hold onto her unused fee for the future or provide her with a refund if she decided not to continue her studies.

COVID-19 placed financial pressure on the student, so she approached the provider for a refund of the unused amount. The provider declined her request referring to its refund policy. Subsequently the student approached iStudent Complaints for further assistance.

How we helped

Our first step was to speak to the student and the provider individually to discuss their perspectives on what would help them resolve the issue. Although mediation was offered, one party declined. We discussed adjudication as the next step within the iStudent Complaint’s process, but the student noted that she was also considering the Disputes Tribunal. She asked us what the difference is between our service and the Disputes Tribunal, to which we referred her to the NZQA website, which outlines both services.


After considering her options, the student filed proceedings with the Disputes Tribunal. iStudent Complaints advised that under the iStudent Complaint Scheme Rules, we would not be able to continue if another process is underway. The student confirmed that she would like to continue with the Disputes Tribunal and the case was closed as withdrawn.