The Compulsory Student Services Fee (or Student Services Levy) contributes to funding student services, buildings and other facilities that students use. All the money collected for the student services levy can only be used for the benefit of students. It can never be used for academic learning or academic administration costs. The government determines what categories of student services the Student Services Levy can fund.
Since the introduction of the levy, members of AUT Student Association (AUTSA) have had input when deciding where money should be spent. Discussions between AUTSA representatives and AUT staff decide how money is allocated for the following year and approves any adjustments to committed funds in the current year.
Some examples of where new money has been spent includes the development of a recreation centre at the City Campus, increased counselling and mental health services, free medical care, increased financial hardship funds and a new rainbow support role.
Alongside services managed by AUT, AUTSA receives funds by way of a contract to deliver activities and services. Some examples of AUTSA activities include legal advice, advocacy, O Week, Debate magazine, student events, clubs and societies and Foodie Godmother.
The levy is a compulsory student fee that partially funds services including:
AUTSA provides AUT students with independent and confidential support, advice and advocacy services. This includes assistance for legal matters, disciplinary action, harassment, complaints, employment and tenant rights, grade appeals, and general information and translation of AUT rules and policies.
AUT offers career counselling, employability services and job search support to prospective and current AUT students and alumni. AUT’s career specialists provide advice and support clients to make informed decisions about their career path and study programme, and to improve their employability.
AUTSA offers a range of student-run social, sustainability, academic and cultural clubs through which students can meet new people, participate in events and get involved in campus life.
AUT hosts two childcare facilities – one at AUT City Campus (run by AUT) and an independently-run crèche at North Campus. Both centres provide excellent facilities and services, including school holiday programmes. Health, Counselling and Wellbeing also provide comfortable and private rooms for breastfeeding at all three main campuses.
AUT has a range of pastoral, personal and counselling services to facilitate our diverse students’ integration into university life and provide on-going personal, spiritual, psychological and emotional support. AUT also provides an after-hours counselling service which is free to students. AUT offers specialised services to students with an impairment or disability, or who are Māori, Pacific, International, Rainbow, or elite athletes.
AUT also operates a comprehensive orientation and transition programme, and an early outreach service to promote the success and retention of our students.
AUTSA provides students with employment information and funding for Student Job Search (SJS). SJS is an employment agency targeted at finding employment for students nationwide.
AUT offers students information and advice to help manage their money, including assistance with StudyLink issues, budgeting and banking. In addition, the University provides Justice of the Peace services and financial hardship assistance for students experiencing extreme financial hardship.
The health centres at City and North Campuses offer integrated general practice medical, nursing, counselling, spiritual and wellbeing services to support students’ overall health and wellbeing. The Centres are part of the Auckland primary health organisation. Routine consultations are free for domestic students who register with one of the centres as their primary health care organisation.
For students based at South Campus, AUT offers a nurse and counselling service, as well as access to funded doctor consultations with four local medical practitioners.
AUTSA supports the production and dissemination of information by students for students through Debate magazine and online media.
AUT and AUTSA delivers a range of recreational and competitive sport events and activities. Each campus has a fitness centre offering quality fitness equipment, group classes and personalised exercise programmes, and access to sport and exercise services.
The University also offers a wide range of cultural events and diversity-related activities to promote diversity and inclusion on campus, as well as to support student engagement.
Effective from 1 January 2020, the Student Services Levy is calculated on the number of credits of study in an academic year a student is enrolled in, based on $6.33 (GST included) per academic credit. This is capped at a maximum of 120 credits of study per academic year.
The levy is made up of:
The levy charges are automatically added to your fees invoice at the time of enrolment. As the levy is compulsory to all university students studying in New Zealand, it can be paid for through your student loan funding or included in your fees free entitlement.
Not all students have to pay the fee. Those students who are studying on exchange programmes or distance learning aren’t charged the fee in 2020. Distance learning means that a student’s faculty have confirmed no portion of the paper is taught on an AUT campus.
The Student Services Levy is governed by the same AUT refund policy as tuition fees. If you’re eligible for a refund of tuition fees, the same refund apportionment will be applied to the Student Services Levy and will be included in your refund entitlement.
The annual budgeted levy revenue for 2020 is: $12.6 million.
In 2019, the levy revenue was $10.5 million. The funding was apportioned to the following:
The cost of service provision is greater than the levy revenue collected. As AUT are committed to the care and support of its students, the University allocates additional funding to make certain services remain viable.
AUT has a formal partnership with AUTSA through the Student Advisory Committee, which provides oversight and guidance on the allocation of the Student Services Levy. The membership of the committee consists of equal numbers of representatives from AUT and AUTSA. The committee is responsible for ensuring the raising student matters, increasing annual levy expenditure, and promoting student engagement with learning and AUT.
AUTSA are contracted to provide services on behalf of AUT and receive levy funds to deliver these supports. AUTSA provides insights from the student body how levy funds may be best spent to maximise value for the students.
Recommendations are made to the Vice-Chancellor and approved by AUT Council. The AUTSA Student President is a member of AUT Council, which is responsible for the governance of the University, including oversight of the institution’s policy, degree, financial and capital matters.
The levy amount is decided by the cost for delivering each service and activity. This includes staffing costs, space, technology and operational expenses. Each year the cost is inflation adjusted and increased based on student need. Annually, the AUT Auditor reviews the accounts to make certain the funds are being correctly applied. In 2020, this review will include the amount paid to AUTSA for the services required to be delivered under the AUT and AUTSA contract.
Each year, a breakdown of expenditure is publicly published through the AUT Annual Report. The report breaks down the detail against the types of service clusters as outlined in the Ministerial Direction.