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Student Services Levy

02 October 2023

Each year university students around New Zealand are charged a Student Services Levy (SSL) in addition to their tuition fees. Find out about SSL costs and see what the money collected is used for. 


Your money - your benefits

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. 

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 Levy costs

The SSL is automatically calculated on how many points you enrol in per academic year, capped at a maximum of 150 points. 

2023 SSL

The total amount to pay will show on the invoice included with your Enrolment Agreement.  All tuition fees, SSL, and any other costs listed on your invoice need to be paid before your enrolment is considered complete. SSL can be paid with Fees Free funding or a Studylink loan if you are eligible. 


Reductions and Exemptions

UC acknowledges that distance and extramural students do not have access to the full range of on-campus services funded through the SSL and will therefore be charged SSL at a reduced rate of 20%.  This is calculated as $1.834 per academic point in 2024 (or $1.654 per academic point in 2023) for (D) course occurrences. A number of services are still available to distance and extramural students - find out more about UC Support Services.

STAR students, Micro-credentials students, UC staff with a University waiver, and incoming reciprocal exchange students are all exempt from paying SSL.

Canterbury Tertiary Alliance (CTA) staff with an approved CTA form will pay SSL at a rate of 50%. Students with reciprocal waivers may also be charged SSL at a reduced rate.


Student services currently funded by the SSL

  • Subsidised health services and counselling, including the Health Centre and UCSA Dental
  • Student advocacy and welfare
  • 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


2024 Budget allocation  


Pie chart showing the budget allocation for SSL in 2024

Breakdown of SSL 2024 Budget Allocation

Download (application/pdf, 199 KB)

SSL Survey Results 2022

Download (application/pdf, 123 KB)

SSL Refund policy

If you completely withdraw from all your courses before the Deadline to add or withdraw courses (with a full refund for withdrawn courses), the SSL is refunded in full.  

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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