Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology did not know three students had travelled from Auckland to Tauranga to attend classes but would have "emphatically instructed" them to stay put if it had, the chief executive says.
Leon Fourie, the chief executive of the tertiary provider, said the students were stood down from class and told to self-isolate for 14 days after attending four quantity surveying classes last week at the Windermere campus in Tauranga.
Fourie confirmed the students were at the Tauranga campus for three days during that time and the institute was "not aware" they had travelled from Auckland.
"We would have emphatically instructed them to stay in Auckland. We would have stated that they cannot travel across the border to attend class due to the current alert level status in Auckland."
However, he believed the students acted "honestly" and "according to their accounts followed the guidance and information provided to them by the Ministry of Health and border staff at the time".
He said, after speaking with health officials, there was "no perceived risk to staff and students" and those who attended those classes did not have to self-isolate.
"All three students have produced two negative Covid tests and as an additional precaution, are not returning to campus for 14 days since they arrived in Tauranga."
Class sizes were in line with alert level 2 guidelines, which means no more than 50 students were in each of the four quantity surveying classes.
"The class sizes that these students attended ranged from 30 to 50 students."
Police also previously confirmed the students had travelled to Tauranga from Auckland.
A police spokesperson said officers spoke to the group and no further action from police was needed.
A University of Waikato spokesperson said they had reiterated to students that no regional travel was permitted for those in Auckland while alert level 4 was in place.
The university, which has a Tauranga campus, was in "regular communication" with students and it was continuing to operate under alert level 2 guidelines.
"Our students in Auckland are being supported to continue to undertake their studies from Auckland," the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of Health was approached for comment.