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 Joint Operations Advisory Board (JOAB), 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 Joint Operations Advisory Board (JOAB) 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.

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.

Student services currently funded by the SSL:

  • Subsidised health services 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

More details on services funded in 2021:

Student Services Levy Allocation Budget for 2021

Student Services Levy costs

The SSL is calculated on the number of points you are enrolled in per academic year, capped at a maximum of 150 points. The rate for study in 2021 is $7.31 per academic point. From 1 January 2022* the rate (for study in 2022) is $7.44 per academic point. This is shown below:

Points2021 SSL
$7.31 per point
2022 SSL
$7.44 per point
15 $109.65 $111.60
30 $219.30 $223.20
45 $328.95 $334.80
60 $438.60 $446.40
75 $548.25 $558.00
90 $657.90 $669.60
105 $767.55 $781.20
120 $877.20 $892.80
135 $986.85 $1.004.40
150 $1,096.50 $1,116.00
165 $1,096.50 $1,116.00
180 $1,096.50 $1,116.00

*If you are enrolling in a course which commences before 1 January 2022, SSL will be charged based on 2021 Fees.

The SSL is automatically added to your tuition fee invoice (according to the number of points you are taking) and must be paid to complete your enrolment. As the levy is compulsory, it can be paid for through your student loan funding.

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). 

The services still available to Distance Students and the easiest contact points are:

Student Care provides support, guidance and advice on any matters that may be impacting on your studies or wellbeing. Distance students can contact Student Care by email, phone or Skype (by arrangement). Email:, phone: +64 3 369 3388 or freephone: 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

The Careers, Internships & Employment team are qualified career practitioners and graduate recruitment specialists available to assist students in developing the skills needed to plan and manage their career. They can assist students to make informed course and career decisions and transition successfully into work or further study.

Distance students can arrange a phone or SKYPE consultation with a career consultant by emailing:, phone: +64 3 364 3310 or freephone: 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

The Careers’ website also offers resources and information. Enrolled students can find Career Development Modules on Learn, and jobs and employer information on UC CareerHub.

While UC Health Centre does not offer a full range of services to distance students, you can seek advice. Phone: +64 3 369 4444 or or freephone: 0800 VARSITY (827 748), email:

The UCSA Advocacy & Welfare provides welfare services such as the Hardship Grant and Mickle Fund loan.  Advocacy services for appeals, grievances, special consideration, late discontinuation and disciplinary issues are available. Distance students are able to access our services via phone: + 64 3 364 2652 and email: Attendance at meetings relating to appeals and grievances can be conducted with UCSA team members acting as support people via SKYPE.

The Māori Student Development Team (MDT) provides targeted developmental and support initiatives to Māori students to optimise their personal, social and academic success. MDT’s Kaipoipoi – Māori Student Advisors provide personalised advisor support to all Māori students. Māori distance students can arrange a phone or SKYPE consultation with a Kaipoipoi by emailing: , phone: +64 3 369 3868 or freephone: 0800 VARSITY (827 748)

The Pacific Development Team (PDT) assists Pasifika students to make the most of their UC experience and academic potential. Pasifika students who study by distance have access to a number of Pacific Development Team services including the Pasifika Mentoring programme which offers pastoral care and the PASS programme which offers tutoring. These services may also be available via SKYPE so please enquire. All first-year students who attend UC Pasifika Orientation Day receive a free stationery pack. First-year distance students can receive this via post if requested. Email: or phone: +64 3 369 3554 or freephone: 0800 VARSITY (827 748)

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. 

More information

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

Kim Fowler

Mema o te Kaunihera
Council Member
UCSA President
Internal Phone: 91476
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