Options for learning if you are still in school or under 19 years of age

Otago Secondary-Tertiary College (previously known as Trades Academy )

Otago Secondary-Tertiary College (OSTC) is a training college which gives secondary school students a head start to achieving career-based qualifications while still at school. 

If you’re a Year 11-13 secondary school student in Dunedin, Central Otago or Queenstown Lakes District you may be able to combine study at Otago Polytechnic with studies towards your NCEA at school.

OSTC is a partnership between Otago Polytechnic and secondary schools in the Otago region. 

STAR courses

The Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource– or STAR – gives year 11 to 13 students a chance to participate in tertiary programmes. Otago Polytechnic has some wonderful opportunities for secondary school students who wish to develop their skills in an area of interest and transition smoothly into higher education or the workforce.

Contact us - Central Otago
0800 765 9276
centralotago@op.ac.nz

Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme

Do you feel that school hasn't worked out for you, but you still want to have skills to get a job? Don’t worry! There are still plenty of options available through the Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme (YG).

Youth Guarantee gives 16 to 19-year-olds* the opportunity to enrol in a programme of learning leading to a certificate qualification at either Level 2 or 3 and pay no fees. It provides successful applicants with improved access to foundation education, pastoral care and learner support, allowing them to study towards further qualifications that are at Levels 1 to 3 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in tertiary education.

Foundation skills are the crucial first step on the path to higher level education, training and/or employment opportunities.

*You may undertake a Youth Guarantee Scheme programme if you are 15 years old at the time it starts and you have an early leaving exemption from school. 

To be eligible for Youth Guarantee funding, you must:

  • Be a domestic student between 16-19 years old 
  • OR be 15 years of age at the time when you commence the programme AND have an early leaving exemption from your school
  • Not already hold a Level 3 qualification in any subject
  • Have been thinking about leaving school and getting a job OR prefer to be working towards a career rather than staying at school OR have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment
  • Want to learn practical skills
  • Be more motivated in a non-school setting and be prepared to enrol in a full-time programme.

Fees and allowances

The Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme will cover the tuition fees, material and equipment costs of your programme of study. 18-19 year olds enrolled in fees-free Youth Guarantee qualifications will now be able to access the course-related costs part of the student loan and student allowances if they meet the eligibility criteria. Those under 18 years old will not be able to access any part of the student loans. Funding for travel is available (conditions apply). Please visit the Studylink website for full details. We strongly recommend that you read this carefully prior to applying for your programme of choice.  

Important things to note

  • There are limited Youth Guarantee funded spaces available. 
  • If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding and you have applied for a Youth Guarantee eligible programme, you will be offered the funding if it is available.  

The process 

  • There is not a separate Youth Guarantee application form. Please apply for your programme of choice using our standard Otago Polytechnic application form (either online or on paper). 
  • If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding and you have applied for a Youth Guarantee eligible programme, you will be offered the funding if it is available. We will ask you to let us know within two weeks if you do not wish to take up the funding. 
  • If there is no Youth Guarantee funding available, we will send you a letter advising you of this. Along with this letter, you will receive an invoice, terms and conditions, a Studylink brochure and an equipment list advising what you will need to purchase before starting your programme. 

Contact us - Central Otago
0800 765 9276
centralotago@op.ac.nz