Student services fees

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Last updated 1 December 2023
Last updated 1 December 2023

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. This page explains requirements and conditions for student services fees.

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

The Minister responsible for tertiary education prescribes requirements for TEOs that charge student services fees through funding mechanisms and delegations. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) then administers these by placing conditions on the funding it allocates to TEOs.

Providers that charge a student services fee to students, and are funded by the TEC, need to comply with all requirements on student services fees. These requirements are set out in the funding mechanisms and are reflected in funding conditions for each year.

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 able to opt in to paying for and accessing student services
  • student involvement – providers must establish arrangements so decisions on student services fees can be made jointly or in consultation with students, including:
    • the amount charged (including the charges for 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 be either 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 must be published on a provider’s website clearly and in an accessible location. This must include:
    • the amount charged (including the charges for different categories of students)
    • how the provider has involved students in decision-making, and
    • how students can be involved in future decisions.

More guidance on student services fees

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.

Student Services Fees: Guidance for tertiary education providers (PDF 1 MB)