UIP system - questions and answers

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Unfunded International Providers (UIP).

Unfunded International Providers (UIP) - questions and answers [PDF]

Please contact UIP.DataCollection@education.govt.nz if you have any further questions.


What is a UIP? How do I know whether I am one?

Unfunded International Providers (UIPs) are private training establishments that enrol international students and do not receive government funding. If you meet these criteria and do not submit data through the Single Data Return (SDR), you are a UIP.

A list of current UIPs

What is a component?

Component refers to a constituent part of a programme of study or training scheme. This may be called a paper, module, unit or course within your organisation. Components may contain multiple assessment standards (see Qualifications and Component for UIP picture).

A component at one provider may be a single assessment or at another provider may be a whole programme of work (see component case study picture).

For the purpose of UIP the ‘component’ refers to the lowest level of enrolment that your organisation undertakes.

What is a course?

See component. Course codes may be assigned by the provider.

What is a qualification?

A qualification recognises the achievement of a set of learning outcomes for a particular purpose through formal certification.

The programme of learning leading to the qualification is made up of several components.

What is a training scheme?

A training scheme is defined as study and training that leads to an award but does not, of itself, lead to a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). A training scheme can be at any NZQF Level and can provide a range of academic or vocational learning opportunities.

New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)

Why do you use trimesters?

Trimesters are referred to for consistency purposes. The reporting and Export Education Levy (EEL) invoicing processes across the sector are based on trimesters.

For reporting periods, please refer to the section on data recording requirements.

Why do you collect information on tuition fees?

The fee paying status identifies if the student is an international fee-paying student whose tuition fees are subject to the Export Education Levy. This is captured against the component enrolment rather than the student, as their status may change between enrolments.

Export Education Levy

Why do you need to collect tuition fees information at component level?

The Export Education Levy (EEL) is calculated using the fees captured at the component level to ensure that you are not charged for a levy too early (see Export Education Levy calculation picture below).

Data recording requirements

What are the provider groups?

UIPs have been divided into two groups because of different data requirements for each.  The groups are defined as follows:

Group 1Group 2

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

New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)

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

What are the data requirements?

Both Group 1 and 2 providers 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 is optional
  • Learner enrolment information (start and end dates of study, delivery site, teacher-directed contact hours, fee-paying status, and tuition fees)

Only Group 1 providers submit the following additional information:

  • Component/programme information
  • Learner component completion information
  • Qualification completion information

How are tour groups defined?

The definition of a tour group 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. Providers 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)

Tour Group Portal

Are there any exemptions?

There are no exemptions. All unfunded providers enrolling international students are required to submit data from 2018.

NZQA wrote to English language-only providers in 2017 to exempt them from submitting the full dataset but all are still required to submit the shorter dataset.

What if our organisation is not on the UIP list?

If you are not on the UIP list on STEO but think you should be, please contact uip.datacollection@education.govt.nz so that we can check.

UIP current list

What are the reporting periods?

The Education (Export Education Levy) Amendment Regulations 2017 stipulate the dates for Export Education Levy payments. To give the Ministry time to process the data required for EEL invoicing, we require the following:

  • Trimester 1 (1 January – 30 April): data required by 15 May; levy payment required by 30 May
  • Trimester 2 (1 May – 31 August): data required by 15 September; levy payment required by 30 September
  • Trimester 3 (1 September – 31 December); data required by 31 January the following year and levy payment required by 16 February

Students can enrol any time. How do we record this?

Trimester dates do not need to intersect with student enrolment dates. We ask you for the start and end date of the student’s studies. For the purpose of the Export Education Levy, we only count start dates that fall within the trimester period you’re being invoiced for.

How are enrolments across the year managed?

Please indicate the enrolment start and end dates as far as you know them as well as tuition fees received. When we extract data, we check whether this student was enrolled previously and whether tuition fees were paid. We will only invoice you for new enrolments and any new tuition fees received per trimester.

What if students study different time periods each week?

Please estimate the average course teaching hours.

Do we submit for all students or just international students?

Please submit data for all students. Please use fee paying status to determine the type of student, e.g. international fee paying or domestic.

Do we have to adopt the UIP data collection system if we are already completing an SDR?

If you are already completing an SDR you can continue to do so and do not need to adopt the UIP data collection.

What if we do not have any student enrolments for the trimester?

Send an email to uip.datacollection@education.govt.nz indicating the same.

How do UIPs reflect students studying offshore?

Providers can insert 99 in immigration status for students studying offshore.

How are expected completion vs. actual completion date managed?

Please indicate the date on which you expect the learner to have completed the component. If the student completes after the expected completion date, or if the student withdraws or fails please update the completion date with the actual end date.

What if the full levy was paid in the previous trimester?

We check whether the levy was paid for the previous trimester so providers do not get charged twice.

Is there a minimum reportable fee?

There is no minimum reportable tuition fee. All enrolled students should be reported.

How do I classify English for Migrants students funded by TEC?

Students attending English for Migrants courses funded by TEC are considered domestic students.

What if I have only one international student?

You will still need to submit data for your international student and all domestic students. NZQA has changed a condition of registration - Rule 5.1.3 - which requires all unfunded PTEs that have any international students to submit data via the UIP data collection.

Where can I find codes for ethnicity and citizenship?

Code sets and classifications can be found on Education Counts.

How to handle student cancellations?

If a student cancels/withdraws a course after the enrolment details have been submitted, please re-submit the same record with tuition fee as 0 so that the EEL can be adjusted in the next trimester. It is really important that all enrolment details are exactly the same (except for tuition fees) so we can identify the record as one that was previously submitted.

National Student Numbers

The National Student Number (NSN) is a unique number given to every student. This is what the education provider will use when searching for, entering or modifying their student information in the National Student Index (NSI).

How do I get a NSN?

There are various ways to obtain an NSN. Please refer to this for information and support.

NSI Information

What is the rationale for NSNs?

The NSN assists with tracking student pathways and can be of real value in terms of tailoring marketing strategies to students or countries, and in analysing international student outcomes.

Do I have to get a NSN number for each student even if they are here for less than 2 weeks?

Yes. According to the Education Act 1989, all students that pay tuition fees need to be enrolled regardless of the time period. This means they need to be registered for an NSN.

What is the National Student Index (NSI)?

The NSI is a database maintained by the Ministry of Education. Education providers access it to locate, enter or modify information about their students.

Information from the NSI is used by the Ministry and NZQA so that policy makers can accurately identify student characteristics and outcomes.

For further information about the NSI, please go to the NSI website.

As an education provider you will need to be registered with the Ministry of Education, and will also need an Education Sector Login (ESAA login).

What if our SMS system does not integrate with the NSI?

If you do not have an SMS system that integrates with the NSI, please contact the Ministry of Education Service Desk to obtain the login. Otherwise please speak to your SMS Vendor.

How do I submit student details to the NSI in batches (bulk processing)?

A batch file interface enables processing of requests for NSI record searches, additions, updates and merges in batches. The interface will collect the requests to process files that were entered into the Student Management System and send them in batches to the NSI system for processing.

The upload of the batch files for processing by the NSI system can be done manually through the NSI web application or automatically via the SMS interface. Uploaded batch files will be processed at assigned intervals by the NSI system.

Result files will be generated to report the outcome of the process. Providers can download these result files from the NSI web site. Providers will then need to load the result files into their SMS (this process may be integrated into your SMS). If there are any errors or exceptions, providers have to process them in the SMS manually.

This interface option is best suited to providers that enrol a large number of students and implement a ‘bulk' enrolment period. Providers that have available internet bandwidth of less than 56kbs may also prefer to use this interface option. Batch files should be generated by your SMS system and not generated manually.

How do we prepare to use the NSI Batch Interface?

You / your SMS vendor will have to go through the NSI Go Live testing process to confirm your SMS interfaces correctly with NSI. Contact our Service Desk to initiate this process.

How do we submit student details to the NSI individually?

Individual users can apply for access to the NSI Web User Interface for allocating NSNs by completing the Individual ESL Account Request form.

Individual ESL Account Request form [PDF, 109KB]

The NSI Web User Interface Guide explains the prerequisites to enable a valid user to access the web interface of the NSI system. It provides instructions for the web functionality and advice on how to navigate through the web interface. 

NSI Web User Interface Guide

For further information NSI Information go to the Ministry of Education's website

I can’t access NSI online.

Please contact the Education Service Desk for assistance.

Phone 0800 422 599 or email moe.servicedesk@education.govt.nz.

The person who had our NSI web access has left our organisation and we need new login details

You may re-apply for access to the NSI Web User Interface for allocating NSNs – complete the Individual ESL Account Request form.

Individual ESL Account Request form [PDF, 109KB]

The NSI Web User Interface Guide explains the prerequisites to enable a valid user to access the web interface of the NSI system. It provides instructions for the web functionality and advice on how to navigate through the web interface. 

NSI Web User Interface Guide

For further information NSI Information go to the Ministry of Education's website

For further assistance, please contact the Education Service Desk:

Phone 0800 422 599 or email moe.servicedesk@education.govt.nz.

Data submission options

There are three options for a UIP to submit individual student data to the Ministry: through the UIP upload portal, SMS integration, or using a bureau service. In addition, there is also the tour group portal.

Option 1: UIP upload portal

UIP upload 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.

UIP Reference documents

How do we log into the portal?

Portal login details should have been sent to you if you are a current UIP. If you can’t find them, you can easily re-set your password by entering your username (email address) and use the ‘forgotten password’ option.

If you are a new user, please contact service.desk@education.govt.nz to request access.

What if there are data errors?

If you discover a mistake in the data you submitted to us, please re-submit the data and then advise us by email to UIP.datacollection@education.govt.nz.

How do we submit data to the portal?

These guidelines explain how the submission works.

Quick reference guide 2: Using the UIP upload portal [PDF, 450]

Can I combine courses with different levels of the same subject?

If you have courses with different levels of the same subject (e.g. intensive English, super-intensive English, etc.) you may combine them for reporting purposes.

Can we delete template columns that don’t apply to us?

Please do not delete columns. You may leave columns blank that do not apply to you.

How do we get confirmation of our data submission?

After data is submitted to both the general student upload portal and the tour group portal, the user is returned to the landing page and a message is displayed confirming that the submission was successful.

When the UIP portal receives data files more than once in the same trimester, do the newest records append or update the previous records?

When providers re-submit data, the files are duplicated. Currently the Ministry manually selects and works from the most recent file. However, there is ongoing development work to automate UIP processes and this issue will be taken into account during the next development phase.

Can we switch between UIP data submission options?

Yes, you can choose the option that you prefer.

Option 2: UIP SMS integration

How do I integrate my SMS with UIP?

Please review the information on the STEO website. If you need assistance, please contact UIP.datacollection@education.govt.nz.

PTE UIP preparation

UIP SMS Vendors

Do the field names in our database need to match the Ministry’s data specification?

The field names in your database do not need to match our data specification. Your SMS will map those fields to the ones we require.

What is initial load?

Initial load is a task undertaken to ensure your current students, enrolments and component are uploaded to UIP. This means that if we get a component completion message, we will already have the component enrolment that the completion relates to. If we get a qualification completion we have the information about the student who achieved the qualification. More detail can be found in the UIP Data Collection – SMS Specification Section 20.

UIP Data Collection – SMS Specification Section 20 [PDF; 1.44MB]

When do I need to send student enrolment event messages?

At a minimum, the government requires data to be submitted three times per year at the end of each trimester due to EEL invoicing (please refer to Export Education Levy – invoicing).

Many private training establishments have a pre-enrolment process where they capture a potential student’s details, pencil them in for courses and send an invoice. This does not always result in the student turning up at their school, making payment and attending classes. The UIP system does not need to receive information about ‘potential’ students. Therefore the trigger for enrolment messages to be sent to the UIP system should be when the student turns up for classes or when they pay their invoice.

What do I do if I am changing my SMS vendor?

If you are changing SMS vendors after interfacing with UIP through your current vendor, your new SMS vendor will be required to complete the SMS Compliance process. Refer to UIP SMS Compliance for details.

UIP SMS Compliance

Once your new vendor is compliant you may continue to the UIP Go-Live Process.

UIP Go-Live Process

If you have any issues downloading any documents please contact us at UIP.DataCollection@education.govt.nz.

Master Reference Data list

Full master reference data list used within the UIP system

Option 3: Bureau Service

What is 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.

Here is a list of SMS vendors that offer bureau service.

Export Education Levy (EEL) - invoicing

How is the EEL calculated?

The EEL is calculated three times a year on a cumulative basis using the learner component enrolment information provided in the data collection. The Ministry uses the delivery start and end dates, fee paying status, and tuition fees to calculate the fixed and variable fees to produce an invoice which is emailed to the provider. Any questions on EEL invoicing can be directed to EEL.Administrator@education.govt.nz.

The EEL calculation, managing refunds picture below shows you some examples of what might happen when enrolments cross trimesters and when students withdraw.

EEL calculation, managing refunds [GIF; 92KB]

EEL calculation, managing refunds - printable version [PDF; 131KB]

EEL invoices

The EEL invoice states the EEL amount owed on a trimester basis. Before we invoice you, we will send you a summary report, based on your data submission, indicating the number of enrolments and tuition fees we recorded for you. You will have the opportunity to check this before we invoice you.

How are pro-rata calculations of tuition fees handled?

We are aware that some providers calculate the tuition fee on a pro rata basis. For pragmatic reasons, we propose the following workaround for enrolments that span more than one trimester:

  • The provider creates a unique enrolment record per student per trimester (these will all have the same student and course data, but each will have start and end dates reflecting the trimester boundaries, and a pro-rata fee per trimester).
  • It is really important that the student and course details are identical.
  • The Ministry will aggregate these to reflect the actual single student enrolment in the statistics (hence the need for the records to be identical other than start/end dates and fee).

Data reporting

What access will providers have to reported data?

The Ministry will develop a report for each provider containing their student data. This will allow each provider to see what was sent to the Ministry.

Will there be UIP sector reports?

When we have enough PTEs supplying data via the automated data collection system we will be able to provide reports on the Unfunded International Provider sector. These will be available from Education New Zealand. Another source of information on the sector will be available on the Education Counts website.

Education New Zealand

Education Counts website

Does the UIP data collection system replace the Single Data Return (SDR)?

No. The UIP data collection system has not been implemented to replace the SDR. If you are already completing an SDR you can continue to do so and do not need to adopt the UIP data collection as well.


Can I submit multiple PTEs that belong to the same Education Group?

No. Each provider needs to upload their information separately.

Is it possible to extend deadlines for data submissions?

No. The trimester dates for paying the Export Education Levy, which is based on provider data submissions, are set in legislation. If you have any concerns, please contact UIP.datacollection@education.govt.nz.

Education (Export Education Levy) Amendment Regulations 2017 [NZ Legislation website]

What is a unique identifier?

National Students Numbers are used as a unique identifier for students.

How do we let students know that this data will be collected?

Enrolment forms should include information about the sharing of data through UIP. Please add the use of information and privacy statement to your enrolment form/process.

Use of information and privacy statement [DOC; 36KB]

What happens if we do not supply the data/information?

Submitting UIP data is a NZQA condition of registration under rule 5.1.3. Contact details of non-compliant providers will be passed onto NZQA for compliance follow-up.