Student services fees

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Last updated 21 January 2021
Last updated 21 January 2021

Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) can charge students a student services fee to help fund the costs of services and facilities that support students and enhance their academic experience.

There are requirements on how student services fees are set and used, which are intended to:  

  • make sure providers are transparent in setting and administering student services fees
  • ensure students are involved in decision-making when setting student services fees
  • set clear limits on what services can be funded through the fee. 

Conditions on charging student services fees

Student services fees are regulated by the “Ministerial Direction on Compulsory Student Services Fees for 2019” until 31 December 2022. From 1 January 2023 this Direction will be revoked and student services fees will be regulated through funding determinations.

Revocation of the Ministerial Direction on Compulsory Student Services Fees for 2019 (PDF, 543 KB)

Tertiary Education Organisation requirements on student services fees will continue to be included in funding conditions administered by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Changes to student services fees are outlined in The Tertiary Education (Requirements for Student Services Fees) Notice 2022.

2023 Funding Conditions

Providers that charge a student services fee to students who are funded by the TEC need to comply with all requirements on student services fees. These requirements are set out in the above notice and are reflected in funding conditions for 2023.

The areas of compliance regarding student services fees cover:

  • Which students can be charged a compulsory fee for student services – from 2023, apprentices and trainees must be given the ability to opt in to paying for and accessing student services
  • Student involvement – providers must establish adequate arrangements for decisions on student services fees to be made jointly or in consultation with students, including:
    • the amount charged (including the amount charged to different categories of students)
    • the services offered and who delivers them
  • Categories of student services – the permitted categories of student services that the fee can support
  • Accounting for student services fees – all income and expenditure associated with student services fees must either be held in a separate bank account, or separately accounted for within existing accounts
  • Annual reporting on student services fees – institutions must provide information on the fee in their annual reports, and private training enterprises (PTEs) must provide a written report on the fee to their students.
  • Publishing student services fee information online – student services fee information is to be published on a provider’s website clearly and in an accessible location. This information must include the amount charged (including the amounts charged to different categories of students), how the provider has involved students in decision-making, and how students can be involved in future decisions.

We have published a Student Services Fees Guide to help providers that charge a student services fee to understand and comply with all relevant aspects of the funding conditions. This includes a more detailed breakdown of the requirements, including the categories of services, and examples of how to involve students in decision making.

2023 Student Services Fees Guide (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Monitoring and reviewing the student services fee requirements

We monitor student services fee practices across the sector, including provider compliance with the funding conditions via annual reporting and provider websites.

The Ministry of Education regularly reviews the student services fee requirements to make sure they remain fit for purpose.

Student services fees and Fees Free

Student services fees are included in Fees Free tertiary education for eligible learners.

As part of regular Fees Free reporting to the TEC, providers are required to attest that they comply with the funding conditions on student services fees, which we monitor.

Have a question?

For information or advice on student services fees funding conditions and your obligations, please email us at ssf@tec.govt.nz.