Wananga landing Wananga landing

Fee refunds

14 November 2023

When you drop a course or full programme of study you may be eligible for a tuition fee refund. Find out when you can make changes to your enrolment to receive a refund and other requirements.


You can drop a course you are enrolled in and automatically receive a full tuition fee refund for a short time after the course's Official Course Start Date. For courses in Semester One (S1) and Semester Two (S2) this is normally two weeks; courses with other semester codes have different deadlines, so check the Enrolment and Course Dates tables for the relevant 'Deadline to Add or Withdraw Courses' date. 

You will not normally receive a refund of tuition fees if you drop a course after this date unless it is due to medical or exceptional circumstances, in which case you may be eligible for a partial fee refund (up to 50%). 


If you drop a course after the Change of Enrolment period due to medical or exceptional circumstances, you will be eligible for a partial fee refund (of not more than 50%), provided you meet the following criteria: 


The following circumstances are considered to be 'medical or exceptional':

  • serious illness or accident, or severe psychological impairment
  • bereavement
  • critical personal circumstances involving the health and wellbeing of a relative
  • sporting/cultural commitments where you are representing New Zealand or trialling for New Zealand representation
  • service in the New Zealand Armed Forces
  • other exceptional circumstances beyond your control (for example a natural disaster, damage to significant property, impacts arising from being the victim of a crime, etc)


The following circumstances are not considered to be 'medical or exceptional':

  • domestic or financial commitments/changes
  • employment commitments/changes (except essential workers during lockdown)
  • circumstances which arise after the completion of the relevant course
  • short-term impairment (eg missing 2 days of class due to illness)
  • circumstances that are more appropriately covered by provisions for Special Consideration in Final Examinations (eg short-term illness during the exam period)
  • known impairment such as chronic illness (medical or psychological), injury or disability unless medical evidence confirms that, despite appropriate management, there has been an unexpected worsening of the condition
  • ignorance of withdrawal regulations and dates

If a request is made for the same/similar reasons to a previous request, it may be declined because the reason is not 'unexpected'.


Acceptable evidence 

If your request for Consideration for a Partial Refund is due to medical impairment (illness, injury, or mental health), you must provide a medical certificate that is dated to the period of impairment (that is, when the symptoms of your illness or injury are apparent to the Medical Practitioner). A medical certificate dated after the period of impairment is unlikely to be considered acceptable.

In cases of bereavement, appropriate evidence may include a death notice. Where the notice does not mention you by name, you will need to provide a letter from a funeral director, minister of religion, kaumatua/kuia or the police to confirm your relationship with the deceased.

For all other exceptional circumstances, the nature of the supporting documentation will depend on the circumstances but might include police reports or a letter from an appropriate third party. If you are unsure of appropriate evidence, contact the Enrolments team for advice. 

Information provided in support of your application will be kept confidential, in accordance with the University's Privacy Policy

If you have pre-paid your tuition fees but cannot complete your enrolment (for example if your Student Visa is not approved by Immigration NZ), you can request a full refund of your tuition fees.

Email for more information. 

If you have paid international tuition fees and you are granted 'domestic' status (residence class visa and/or citizenship) while you are part-way through the academic year, you may be eligible for a refund of the difference in international and domestic tuition fees for any courses that you have enrolled and paid for but have not yet started. For research students, the refund will be calculated from the beginning of the following calendar month, and a refund must be requested before the end of the previous month. To request a refund of the difference in fees, take proof of your new domestic status to the Enrolments team before the Official Course Start Date for all courses you are enrolled in that you wish to be included in the calculation.

If your refund exceeds NZD 3,500, it will be subject to a checking process with the original payment source confirmed by the Student Finance team before the refund can be released. Refunds will normally be paid back to the source account.  In exceptional circumstances, refunds may be instead 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. Tuition fee refunds made to an overseas bank account are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The rate used will be the exchange rate at the time the refund is processed and may result in the payment being a lower amount than what was originally paid depending on the exchange rate movement.

Email for more informaiton. 

For approved GI Bill Beneficiaries enrolled in a VA-approved programme at UC:

If you withdraw from one or more of your enrolled courses during the Change of Enrolment period, you will be eligible for a full refund of tuition fees for the course(s) you withdraw from.  

If you withdraw from one or more of your enrolled courses after the last date to withdraw with a full refunda pro-rated refund for VA Beneficiaries will be available:


Time of withdrawalVA beneficiaries refund
First day to fourteenth day of semester 100%
During the third week of semester*70%
During the fourth week of semester*60%
Fifth week to twelfth week of semester*50%
After the twelfth week of semester*no refund


*VA Beneficiaries who wish to withdraw after the second week of study must apply in writing for a refund and email us.

Doctoral or Master's thesis VA Beneficiaries who withdraw after the last date to withdraw with a full refund will receive a full refund of any full unused months of tuition for the current period of enrolment.

VA Beneficiaries will also be eligible for a full refund of tuition fees for any course or programme that the University withdraws or cancels.

All refunds of tuition fees will be made as soon as possible after the withdrawal, change of circumstances, identification of error, or fee appeal resulting in a refund decision.

Tuition fee refunds are automatically paid back to the original source of payment for student loans, scholarships or Fees Free.  If you originally paid your fees with a credit card or bank transfer, you will be asked to arrange the refund to the relevant payment source - we are obligated to make the refund back to the source account. Do not email any credit/debit card information to us as any communication containing a number sequence that may be a credit/debit card number will be blocked by the University to comply with payment card industry security and international banking regulations.

If you have not received confirmation that we have received your refund information, please email the Student Finance team

Be aware that dropping courses after the Change of Enrolment period, may impact on your eligiblity for a student loan and/or allowance (regardless of whether you are awarded a partial refund). Check with Studylink for details. 


Provision of tuition

In the event that UC ceases to be a provider of educational instruction, you will be eligible for a refund of tuition fees for all enrolled courses in the semester or term of cessation. If UC ceases to be a signatory of the Pastoral Care Code, the refund procedures outlined on this webpage will still apply.  You will also be eligible for a full refund of tuition fees for any course or programme that the University withdraws or cancels.

If you have any questions about a refund decision
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.