Student Services Levy

Your money - your benefits

Each year university students around NZ are charged a Student Services Levy (SSL) in addition to their tuition fees. All the SSL money collected can only be used for the benefit of students - never for academic or administrative costs.

UC students are surveyed annually to assess priorities and establish if students want particular services continued, amended or improved. The results of this survey informs the Student Life and Services Advisory Board (SLAB), who then make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor on allocations of funds from the levy and for setting the levy for the following year. See an overview of the latest survey results here.

The Student Life and Services Advisory Board (SLAB) is the primary body for managing the partnership between UC and the University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA). It includes equal representation from UC staff and the UCSA. It provides a formal forum for UCSA representatives to present the view of the student body to UC about activities wholly or partially funded by the SSL. 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.

The SLAB ensures the Levy is spent on meeting student needs, and is asked to inform, advise and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor on the best physical, financial and service delivery options.

Student services currently funded by the SSL

  • Subsidised health services and counselling, including the Health Centre and UCSA Dental
  • Student advocacy and support services
  • Careers, internships and employment services
  • RecCentre membership
  • 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

Student Services Levy costs

The SSL is calculated on the number of points you enrol in per academic year, capped at a maximum of 150 points. The rate for study in 2022 is $7.44 per academic point. This is shown below:

Points2022 SSL
$7.44 per point
15 $111.60
30 $223.20
45 $334.80
60 $446.40
75 $558.00
90 $669.60
105 $781.20
120 $892.80
135 $1.004.40
150 $1,116.00
165 $1,116.00
180 $1,116.00

The SSL is automatically calculated on how many points you take in an academic year (capped at 150 points) and will show on your tuition fee invoice. The SSL must be paid to complete your enrolment. As the levy is compulsory, it can be paid for through your student loan funding. The SSL for first year students whose tuition fees are covered under the Fees Free government policy is also covered by the Fees Free policy for the first year of your study. 

Examples of SSL charges for students 

The SSL you are charged will depend on whether you are studying on campus or by distance, and how many courses you take. 

Distance Students

UC acknowledges that distance students do not have access to the full range of on-campus services funded through the SSL. Students enrolling in a course with a site code of D, N, R or Y will therefore be charged the SSL at a rate of $1.488 per academic point (20% of the full charge). A number of services are still available to distance students - find out more about UC Support Services

Chart of SSL Budget Allocation 2022

Reductions and Exemptions 

The SSL you pay will be reduced or waived if you are studying at UC via one of the following methods: 

  • Offshore online students (studying offshore due to COVID-19 border restrictions) - exempt
  • STAR students - exempt
  • Micro-credentials students - exempt
  • UC staff with a University waiver - exempt
  • Incoming reciprocal exchange students - exempt
  • Approved extramural thesis research (outside of Canterbury) - exempt
  • University partnerships (students enrolling from approved University partnership organisations in designated courses)
    • Canterbury Tertiary Alliance (CTA) staff with an approved CTA form - 50% of levy
    • Reciprocal waivers - as per other institution

Refund policy on Student Service Levy

If you completely withdraw from all your courses within the full tuition fee refund period, the SSL is refunded in full. More information on course dates can be found here. 

If you are awarded a partial refund of tuition fees due to exceptional/medical circumstances, the SSL for the relevant course(s) will also be refunded proportionally (automatically). 

More information

For more information see the Student Services Levy Policy, email or contact the UCSA President. 

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