Explaining Unfunded International Providers

Unfunded International Providers (UIP) background and how to on-board the system.

About UIP

Unfunded International Providers (UIPs) are private training establishments that enrol international students and do not receive government funding. Some UIPs offer courses leading to a qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Other UIPs, such as the majority of English-language providers, do not offer qualifications.

Since 31 March 2016, UIPs have been submitting specified information to the Ministry of Education as a condition of registration, under Rule 5.1.3 of the Private Training Establishment Registration Rules 2013. Information about the change to Rule 5.1.3 is available on the NZQA website. See a list of current UIPs.

English-language providers 

English-language providers are UIPs that solely offer English language courses. Since 1 January 2018, English-language providers who enrol international students are also required to submit enrolment information electronically to the Ministry of Education.

This requirement follows work by the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and Education New Zealand alongside English New Zealand and English-language providers. As a result of this work a shorter set of data requirements was developed that reflects the more informal nature of their English programmes.

The English Language UIPs - Independent Facilitation Report [PDF; 5MB] summarises the outcomes from the workshops between English NZ, English-language providers and government agencies.

The requirement to submit a shorter set of data will only apply to providers that offer English language tuition not leading to a qualification on the NZQF. Once the English-language provider expands and starts offering either non-English programmes or programmes leading to a qualification on the NZQF, they will supply the full set of data to the UIP system for all of their programmes.

Data requirements

Due to the shorter data set required for English-language providers, we have grouped all UIPs into the following groups:

Group 1Group 2

UIPs offering tuition leading to a qualification listed on the NZQF which may include English language qualifications. They may also offer other tuition that does not lead to a qualification.

UIPs offering English-language only tuition not leading to a qualification listed on the NZQF.

Group 1 providers will submit the following information:

  • Information about the Student Management System
  • Information about the English-language provider
  • Learner identity information (date of birth, gender, names, and National Student Number)
  • Information about the learner’s nationality, and immigration status – ethnicity information will be optional
  • Learner enrolment information (start and end dates of study, delivery site, teacher-directed contact hours, fee-paying status, and tuition fees)
  • Component/programme information
  • Learner component completion information
  • Qualification completion information

Group 2 providers will submit the following information:

  • Information about the Student Management System
  • Information about the English-language provider
  • Learner identity information (date of birth, gender, names, and National Student Number)
  • Information about the learner’s nationality, and immigration status – ethnicity information will be optional
  • Learner enrolment information (start and end dates of study, delivery site, teacher-directed contact hours, fee-paying status, and tuition fees)

The UIP system

The Unfunded International Providers (UIP) system is an automated data collection system which will collect individual learner and provider data from UIPs.

The UIP system adheres to a robust assessment process conducted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. It is regularly monitored to ensure these standards are upheld.

Submitting data to the UIP system

There are three ways to submit data to the UIP system:

  1. Adapting the provider’s Student Management System to link it with the UIP system to submit data directly to it.
  2. Using a bureau service that will submit data to the UIP system on the provider’s behalf. 
  3. Uploading template-based files to the Ministry via a secure portal. 

Below is the comparison of the three options for UIP data submission.

 Option 1:SMS IntegrationOption 2: Bureau ServiceOption 3: Uploading files to a data collection portal
Key features
  • Provider modifies their SMS to link it with the UIP system

  • Provider contracts an SMS vendor
  • The SMS vendor will process the provider’s data and submit it to the UIP system
  • Provider directly submits data to the UIP system using the provided submission file template
Business effort

High (initially) to Low (ongoing)

  • Most of the work is on preparing the SMS, linking it with the UIP system and testing if integration is working.
  • No effort needed once data is correct and integration is working. Checking and allocating National Student Numbers (NSN) also becomes automated. 

Low /Medium(ongoing)

  • Bureau assists the provider with identifying and submitting correct data to the UIP system
  • A bureau may provide NSN numbers for you*; if not, NSN numbers need to be checked, allocated and entered manually by the provider

Medium (ongoing)

  • Provider identifies and gathers correct data to upload
  • NSN numbers are checked, allocated and entered manually by the provider
Technical complexity

High (initially) to Low (ongoing)

  • Once provider’s SMS is integrated with the UIP system, data submission becomes automatic

Low /Medium(ongoing)

  • The bureau deals with the technical requirements

Medium (ongoing)

  • Provider extracts data from their system and uploads it into the submission file template

*This may incur additional charges.

Option 1: SMS Integration

The content on these pages will guide you through the process of preparing for the data collection, updating your Student Management System (SMS), undertaking the SMS compliance testing process and going live. The Business as Usual (BAU) pages have information for Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) and system information for SMS vendors and development teams.

You will need to make updates to your SMS to enable the automated data collection process. The PTE Guide to integrating your SMS with UIP [PDF; 634KB] will help guide you through this process.

Once you have made the initial changes to integrate your SMS with the UIP system no further action is required. Your BAU processes within your SMS will transmit messages to the UIP system in the background.

Option 2: Using a Bureau Service

A bureau can submit UIP data on your behalf. How the data will be submitted to the bureau service will be discussed between the providers and the company offering the bureau service. See a list of companies that offer this service.

Option 3: Uploading files to a data collection portal

This option allows providers to submit data using a data collection portal. Data needs to be submitted in a .txt submission file, which can be created using a template. Guidance documents and a submission file template have been created to assist with this process. These documents are available to download.

Access the UIP file upload portal and tour group portal.

Tour groups (group study tours)

The definition of a tour group (group study tour) is a group with two or more international learners entering New Zealand together in an organised group , for study and activities, at a tertiary education provider.

The Ministry does not require individual learner information for international learners in tour groups. To capture aggregate data for these groups, providers are required to submit their information to a Tour Group portal.

Providers will need to submit the following to the Tour Group portal:

  • Information about the provider
  • Information about the learners' nationality, and the number of students in the group
  • Learner enrolment information (start and end dates of the course, the course title and the total payment made).

The Tour Group Portal is a web-based form. Data is entered directly onto the webpage. Data submission guides are available to assist with this process and are available to download.

Access the UIP file upload portal and tour group portal.

Additional information