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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Tertiary fees funding support: Literacy – Primary, intermediate, secondary teachers

The Ministry of Education is continuing its Tertiary Fees Funding Support scheme for approved mathematics and literacy papers. Up to 600 teachers each year will be supported to study a literacy paper at the graduate or post graduate level. Half the tuition fee will be paid for by the Ministry of Education and half by the teacher’s school, or teacher. No release time or leave provision is part of this scheme.

The scheme is part of the Ministry of Education’s efforts to further develop teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and understanding in key areas of learning and teaching. This scheme builds on the work started in Ministry professional development programmes for teachers in literacy and numeracy. It aims to support schools’ efforts to raise the achievement of all their students through increasing the expertise and knowledge of their teachers.


  1. Completed application forms sent to Ministry of Education. All application forms need to be signed by the teacher, principal, and Board of Trustee chair.
  2. Letter of acceptance (or otherwise) sent to each teacher.
  3. Teachers formally apply to the university to enrol in the paper on application form. Note most university papers need a minimum number of students before they will be taught. If a paper does not proceed because of lack of numbers, students are welcome to seek enrolment into another approved paper.
  4. Teachers receive notice back from the university confirming they have been accepted into the paper and how much the tuition fee is.
  5. The school/teacher pays the full fee to the university. (Who pays for non tuition related fees or costs may need to be discussed by the teacher and Board of Trustees.)
  6. Teacher or school send a copy of the "confirmation of acceptance" (for example, a copy of the invoice from the university) to the Ministry of Education. Please make sure the teacher’s name and school is on this document. Non tuition costs should not be included.
  7. The Ministry of Education remits 50% of the tuition fee to the school operating account. Please be aware the process for authorising payments and their receipt by schools can take 4–6 weeks.
  8. The teacher completes the paper.
  9. A copy of the teacher’s results needs to be sent to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry reserves the right to invoice for the Ministry’s contribution if a copy of the results is not received. Feedback and comments are also welcome from teachers and principals. 

Criteria for acceptance

Applications for the literacy subsidy will be selected according to specific criteria. The criteria will be applied in the order set out below.

  • Primary or intermediate teachers exiting the in depth professional development programmes in literacy.
  • Primary or intermediate teachers who are enrolling in the same paper as part of a group.
  • Primary or intermediate teachers who wish to study a paper that supports their work with students who are struggling in reading or writing.

Teachers who are recipients of Ministry of Education study awards are not eligible for the subsidy. Once the study award is completed, recipients will be eligible for the subsidy.

The geographical region successful applicants live in will match as much as possible the proportion of the geographic region of all New Zealand teachers. The date each application is received will also be noted, with earlier applications selected over later ones when all else is equal.

Applications for Semester 1 are now open.

Applications for tertiary fees funding support 2019:

2017 Approved papers:

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Please contact

Tertiary Fees Funding Support

Ministry of Education, Wellington

Phone: 04 04 463 2863

Please scan and email all signed application forms and correspondence to  tertiaryfees.fundingsupport@education.govt.nz

Updated on: 20 May 2016