Tuition fees refunds

Check if you are eligible for a refund

Refunds are not available once a field trip or teaching practice has started.

Course materials and late fees are non-refundable.

You may be eligible for a refund of your tuition fees if you:

  • Withdraw from a complete programme of study or change to a reduced programme by the second Friday from the official course start date (except for summer courses and other short courses, field trips and teaching practices)
  • Withdraw from a summer course, other short course, field trips and teaching practices by the first Friday from the official course start date (except for field trips and teaching practices)
  • Withdraw from a teaching practice before 5.00pm on the Friday before the placement begins
  • Are writing a thesis and withdraw from a complete course of study or change to a reduced programme by the second Friday from your official course start date

Medical and Exceptional Circumstances

To be considered for a refund between the last date to withdraw with a full refund (WDFR) and withdraw with no refund (WD), you must show evidence of either medical circumstances (medical certificate required) or exceptional circumstances, of which was not of the student's making (independent evidence required).

  • If an application is approved, the maximum amount is 50% of the non-refundable portion of the tuition fee. If a student has completely discontinued study, a 50% refund of the Student Services Levy will also apply.
  • Applications must be lodged within the calendar year of the relevant study.
  • Applications must be emailed to late-enrol@canterbury.ac.nz and include the evidence indicated above.

Check the official course start dates and other relevant dates.

Additional information

You can get a refund of tuition fees you have paid before you enrol if you are unable to complete enrolment and you request a refund, (for example, if your Student Visa is not approved by Immigration New Zealand and you have prepaid your tuition fees).

A full-fee international student who qualifies for classification as a domestic student during their studies will become eligible for an appropriate refund. Such refund will take effect from the beginning of the next teaching period or semester, whichever is shorter.  A student must:

  • provide evidence of their changed status prior to the end of the change of enrolment period for the next teaching period; or
  • in the case of a research course this will be before the end of any month.

If your refund exceeds $3,500 NZD it will be subject to a checking process with the original payment source confirmed by Student Financial Services before the refund can be released.

Refunds will normally be paid back to the source account.  In exceptional circumstances refunds may be paid to a New Zealand bank account, with appropriate documentation. If payment has been made by credit card then the refund will be made against the card – no exceptions.

If you submit a thesis and  have completed the minimum enrolment period, you will be eligible for a partial refund of fees from the end of the month you submit your thesis.

If you are a masters thesis student and you started during the year, the two-week refund date applies from your official approved start date.

If you are a doctoral degree student and you withdraw from your studies prior to submitting your registration or if you do not get your registration approved, you will be refund the balance of the tuition fees paid in advance, from the date of withdrawal/termination.

If you are a doctoral degree student who is re-enrolling, the two-week refund date applies from your enrolment anniversary date.

A refund is available if you officially withdraw from a summer, short course or teaching practice by the first Friday from the official course start date (except for field trips and teaching practices).

A refund is available if you officially withdraw from a teaching practice before 5.00pm on the Friday before the placement begins.

Backdated withdrawal 

You may also apply for your withdrawal from a course to be backdated by a colleges, schools or department. This is for academic purposes only and if it is approved this does not constitute a tuition fee refund.

For full details see the following policy:

Special Consideration Procedures and Guidelines (PDF, 233KB)

When you are granted a refund

If you authorised payment through an automatic payment from your student loan the refund of your tuition fees must be paid back to your loan account at StudyLink.

More information

For more information about tuition fee refunds see the University of Canterbury Regulations

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