More about the complaints process

iStudent Complaints deals with your complaint in a timely, cost-effective, and fair manner and, in particular, in a way that:

  • encourages the parties to work towards a mutually agreed solution
  • maximises the use of consensual measures to resolve the dispute, that is, favouring negotiation and mediation before adjudication, unless negotiation and mediation are not appropriate for resolving the dispute
  • takes the views of the parties into account in the decision on measures to resolve the dispute
  • is consistent with the principles of natural justice
  • is on a without-prejudice basis

The New Zealand international student should raise the issue with the provider first and give them an opportunity to resolve it. Once the student and the provider have reached the end of the provider’s complaint process and the student is not happy with the outcome, iStudent Complaints may be able to help.

Before making a complaint, the student should check that it's something iStudent Complaints can help with. If unsure, contact NZQA first for advice.

If their complaint is a contractual or financial issue or both, they can lodge their complaints to iStudent Complaints by phone, email, post, or via our online form. Once we receive the complaint, we will acknowledge receipt in writing within 10 working days by email or post. If the complaint is not a contractual or financial issue, we will direct the complaint to NZQA for follow-up.


iStudent Complaints will:

  • collect additional information from the student
  • arrange language assistance if necessary
  • review the complaint and ensure it is something we can accept under the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme Rules 2016 
  • contact the provider concerned, advise them of the complaint and discuss what investigation has already taken place.


We will then help the student and the provider negotiate a resolution that they both agree with. In some cases, we may decide that the complaint needs to go straight to adjudication if we do not think that negotiation or mediation will be suitable.


If the parties cannot come to agreement at this early stage, we will arrange a mediation with the parties. In some cases, we may decide that the complaint needs to go straight to adjudication if we do not think that mediation will be suitable.


Should a settlement still not be gained from mediation, then the matter will go before an adjudicator who will issue a binding decision.