Student services levy

Your money - your benefits

All the money collected for the student levy can only be used for the benefit of students. It can never be used for academic or administrative costs.

  • Students help decide where the money should be spent. Each year a survey is held to gauge priorities from students. This goes towards how money is allocated the following year.
  • The team who put the recommendation before the Vice-Chancellor is made up of equal parts students and UC staff, ensuring students' interests are represented.
  • Examples of what your student levy goes toward include: free Health Centre care, dental services, club support and spending, student advocacy and welfare programmes, Māori, Pasifika and international student support and UC recreation membership.

A message to students about the Students Services Levy

UCSA and UC have worked very closely in 2016 to review all the services funded by the Student Services Levy and to agree on allocations for services provided by UCSA and UC. We are conscious that this is your money and that we need to ensure you get value for every dollar. In response to student feedback we intend to make some additional funds available in 2017 to enhance services for student wellbeing and employability.

James Addington

UCSA President

Lynn McClelland

Director, Student Services and Communications
Student Services Levy Allocation Budget

Student Services Levy costs

The Student Services Levy varies depending on the length of your enrolment and location:

  • Full year enrolment $795 for 2017 (as an equivalent full time student)
  • One semester $397.50
  • Students studying at UC Centres in Nelson, Rotorua, Tauranga or New Plymouth $262.35

The Student Services Levy policy is available from the UC Policy Library. Check the policy to see if you are eligible for a rebate or exemption.

The Student Services Levy is automatically added to your tuition invoice at the time of enrolment. See the instructions in Pay your fees. As the levy is compulsory, it can be paid for through your student loan funding.

Student Services Levy annual process

The Joint Operations Advisory Board (JOAB) is the primary body for managing the partnership between the UC and the UCSA. It is made up of an even balance of UC staff and UCSA as representatives and as full members. Among its responsibilities the board makes recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor on allocations of funds from the levy and for setting the Levy. It provides a formal forum for UCSA representatives to present the view of the student body to the management of UC related to activities wholly or partially funded by the “Student Services Levy”. Students also have representation on the University Council which is responsible for the governance of the University, including oversight of the institution’s policy, degree, financial and capital matters.

Services funded by the Student Services Levy

The Student Services Levy is a compulsory student fee that funds on campus student services including:

  • Subsidised health services including the Health Centre and Emergency Dental Plan
  • Student support services
  • Careers, internships and employment services
  • Free Recreation Centre membership
  • Disability resource services
  • Liaison and accommodation services
  • University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA)
  • Student events, including Orientation
  • Māori student development and support
  • Pacifica/Pasifika student development and support
  • Development of student spaces

For more details see The Breakdown of the 2016 Budget

Exemptions from the Student Service Levy

STAR students are exempt from paying the Student Service Levy.

Refund policy on Student Service Levy

If you completely withdraw from all your courses within the full tuition fee refund period, the Student Services Levy is refunded in full. See key course dates more information for final dates to withdraw with a full tuition fee refund.

If you discontinue your studies after the deadline, please refer to Special Consideration Procedures and Guidelines for details regarding Student Service Levy refunds.

Rebates and exemptions for the Student Service Levy

If you are a student studying part-time or away from campus, you might be eligible for a Student Services Levy exemptions and rebates. These rebates and exemption reflect that you are not able to make full use of services and facilities on the main campus.

How to get a Student Services Levy rebate

Some exemptions and rebates will occur automatically at enrolment.

In other cases you will need to apply for a rebate and supply additional evidence. You can apply for a rebate when you apply to enrol using myUC, or fill in the Student Services Levy Rebate application form and send it along with any required supporting documents to:
Student Services
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Rebates for part-time and short course students

If you are a student studying part time or taking short courses, you might be eligible for automatic levy rebates or exemption based on the course point value or length of the course.

  • Students enrolling for 30 points or less per academic year - pay $397.50
  • Short duration courses of less than six weeks - pay $198.75
  • Short duration block courses of less than two weeks are exempt from paying the student levy

Rebates for distance students living outside Christchurch

If you’re enrolled as a distance student (site code D) living over 100km from the University of Canterbury, Ilam campus, you can apply for a levy rebate.

If you are a postgraduate thesis student living 100km or more from the University of Canterbury, Ilam campus you will need to provide supporting evidence from your supervisor confirming your study location and length of time off campus. Rebates are applied on a monthly basis with a minimum annual charge of 33% ($262.35).

Rebates for students enrolled in online courses

  • If you’re taking UC courses online from outside New Zealand, you will not be charged the levy.
  • If you are enrolled in courses of 20 points or less and exclusively taking online courses you will pay $262.35.  

Rebates for thesis students studying extra-murally

Rebates are pro-rated on a monthly basis at $66.25 per month and are calculated in whole months.

As evidence, a letter or email to must be provided from your supervisor of studies (which includes their name and a contact telephone number) confirming your study location and residential address, and the length of period not studying on campus.

Note: Students must not be on Christchurch campus.

Incoming exchange student levy exemption

Incoming exchange students from a university with whom UC has a reciprocal agreement are automatically exempt from the levy.

For a list of the exchange partners see the incoming student exchange webpage or contact the International Relationships Office.

Rebates for educators studying part-time

If you’re an educator studying part-time in the College of Education and working at least 12.5 hours per week at a registered childcare centre or school, you can apply for a levy rebate.

Educators studying part-time in College of Education (full year) pay $262.35. Educators studying part-time in College of Education (one semester only) pay $131.17.

As evidence, you need to provide a letter from your employer (on a letterhead indicating their name and telephone number) which states your job title and confirms you work as an educator for 12.5 hours or more a week. 

You are strongly encouraged to submit your rebate application when you enrol so that the rebate can be applied automatically. If you submit the levy rebate applications after you enrol, you will be invoiced the full levy and rebated after your rebate application is approved.

Exemptions for UC staff

If you are a UC staff member and have been granted a full tuition waiver, you are automatically exempt from the Student Services Levy. Information on the UC Tertiary Study programme for staff is available on the Professional Development section of the UC Intranet.

Exemptions for UC Partners

Levy fees for UC partner organisations are negotiated as part of those contracts. If you’re enrolled in UC course through the Canterbury Tertiary Alliance (CTA) or the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), contact the UC Enrolments Team or the appropriate member of your organisation for terms of those agreements.

Lifetime cap on levy fees

The Student Services Levy is capped after five years of full payments.

The Lifetime Cap is calculated from the introduction of the Levy in 2010.

You can apply for a rebate when you apply to enrol using myUC or please apply for the lifetime cap exemption to the following email address -

How the levy amount is decided

Extensive financial analysis is carried out on the cost of providing student services.

How the levy is spent

The Joint Operations Advisory Board (JOAB) ensures the Levy is spent on meeting student needs. The Joint Operations Advisory Board (JOAB) is asked to inform, advise and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor on the best physical, financial and service delivery options.

The JOAB collaborates with the UCSA to determine student needs using research methodology that asks students on their needs. Students are able to tell us if they want particular services continued, amended or improved.

Read about the UCSA commissioned research into what students want on campus:

More information

For more information see the Student Services Levy Policy.