About the case

With the closing of New Zealand’s borders due to COVID-19, a student found themselves unable to return to the country and continue their studies. Furthermore, they had heard that their course was to be discontinued. They approached iStudent Complaints as they had issues obtaining a refund from their school, a Private Training Establishment (PTE). 

The PTE’s perspective was that they had cancelled the student’s enrolment before the emergence of COVID-19 due to non-attendance and a lack of communication. They felt the issues of this complaint were not a direct result of the pandemic. Therefore, they declined to refund the student. 

How we helped

iStudent Complaints assisted the student and the PTE to exchange information to better understand each other’s positions. Mediation allowed the parties to talk to one another directly and negotiate an agreement. As a result, they agreed on additional information to provide to one another. However, after this point, the student ceased communication with iStudent Complaints.

Given the lack of response, the practitioner progressed this dispute to adjudication as per iStudent Complaint’s Scheme Rules. At this point, both parties are asked to submit relevant information for the practitioner to assess and make a binding decision. 


The student failed to meet the deadline to provide their submission. As a result, the complaint was dismissed by the adjudicator and the case was closed. The complaint could not be reopened again, bringing finality to the dispute.