A New Zealand current and former international student and their parent or legal guardian.
Contractual or financial issues, or both, with your provider.
The service is free.
No, but you may choose to have a lawyer or support person to assist you if you wish.
Yes, the outcome is confidential to the parties to the dispute.
You are still free to take your complaint to the Disputes Tribunal, through the court system or any other complaint resolution body. If you do accept the final decision, the provider is bound by that decision and must carry out all of the actions - including payments - that are in the decision.
No. NZQA is the Code Administrator with a primary focus on ensuring providers follow the Code of Practice; it has powers to sanction providers who do not follow it. iStudent Complaints resolves contractual and financial disputes between the student and their provider.
The International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA) and Review Panel will continue to exist beyond 1 July 2016 to finish dealing with all cases submitted to them before 1 July. All complaints and/or disputes after 1 July 2016 will be dealt with under the new Code of Practice.
No. If a student has concerns about the treatment by their provider or the provider's agent, the first thing they must do is contact the principal, the international student director, or another person who has been identified to them by the provider as someone to approach about complaints.
Providers must have an internal complaint process in place that students will need to go through before their complaint can be taken any further.
The Code requires that all providers have fair and equitable internal complaint procedures for students.
If a student's concerns are not resolved by the provider's internal complaint process, the student can then make a complaint to NZQA for Code breaches or to iStudent Complaints for contractual and financial disputes.
iStudent Complaints appoints mediators or adjudicators who are independent of the parties to the dispute. They are accredited or a member of a relevant dispute resolution professional body – Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ), Resolution Institute, or the NZ Law Society.
You may apply to the District Court for, and the District Court may make, an order in accordance with section 238L of the Act modifying a resolution where its terms are manifestly unreasonable, before giving effect to it.
The iStudent Complaints process is confidential and personal details about the complaint will not be made available publicly.
If the complaint is formally adjudicated, iStudent Complaints is required to publish the decision online. All personal and identifiable information is removed before publication.
As part of the complaint investigation, all information received from either the student or education provider will be made available to the other party, unless we are asked otherwise. Both the student and education provider will be given time to comment on the information that is exchanged.
In some cases, we may share information with relevant agencies such as NZQA or Immigration New Zealand as part of the complaints process. We also report anonymised information to the Ministry of Education.
Under the Rules for the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme, a case may be closed if a student refuses to provide relevant information.
We are committed to managing your privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act. As part of our customer service charter, your information will be kept private and confidential, and you will receive information that is up to date and accurate. Your information is held securely and we will look after and protect your information.