Student Services Levy
The Student Services Levy funds student services and activities not covered by tuition fees—find out how much you'll contribute and how to have your say.
The compulsory levy (or Student Services Levy) supports the delivery of some of our student services, student association activities (VUWSA), student representative groups, and other facilities that students use. The government determines what categories of student services the Student Services Levy can fund.
It ensures equitable access to services that support your studies and enhance your student experience. You’ll need to pay this fee, whether you’re studying full time or part time, and whether you’re a domestic or an international student.
On this page, you'll find key information on the Levy:
From 2024, the Student Services Levy will be called the Student Services Fee. This change was made based on student feedback, and to align with the language used by Government around this fee. Until the 2024 academic year is underway, you may see reference to the Levy or the Fee used interchangeably by the University.
What you'll pay in 2023
We automatically add your Levy fees to your tuition fees invoice once you’ve enrolled. Because the Student Services Levy is a compulsory charge, you can pay it using your student loan, or Fees Free funding, if you‘re a domestic student.
For 2023 enrolments, how much you'll pay is based on:
- the total point value of courses you're enrolled in (up to 150 points / 1.25EFTS), and
- whether you're studying from within the Wellington region ($8.60 per point) or elsewhere ($4.30 per point).
2023 studying in Wellington rate
If you're studying from within the Wellington region, either on-campus or online, your Student Services Levy rate is calculated at $8.60 per point.
- If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $129.
- If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $1,032.
2023 studying away from Wellington rate
If you're studying from elsewhere within New Zealand or overseas, your Student Services Levy rate is calculated at $4.30 per point.
- If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $64.50.
- If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $516.
What you'll pay in 2024
For 2024 enrolments, how much you'll pay is based on:
- the total point value of courses you're enrolled in (up to 150 points / 1.25EFTS), and
- whether you're studying from within the Wellington region ($9.20 per point) or elsewhere ($4.60 per point).
2024 studying in Wellington rate
If you're studying from within the Wellington region, either on-campus or online, your Student Services Fee rate is calculated at $9.20 per point.
- If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $138.
- If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $1,104.
2024 studying away from Wellington rate
If you're studying from elsewhere within New Zealand or overseas, your Student Services Fee rate is calculated at $4.60 per point.
- If you enrol in a single course that is worth 15 points (0.125EFTS), you'll pay $69.
- If you enrol in 120 points' (1EFTS) worth of courses—an average workload—you'll pay $552.
Student Assistance Levy
In 2023, the Student Assistance Levy is $28 (GST included) for all students. This levy is used to assist students suffering exceptional financial hardship.
From 2024, the Student Assistance Levy will be renamed to the Student Hardship Fee. In 2024, the Student Hardship Fee is $30 (GST included).
Withdrawals and refunds
If you withdraw from your course(s) before the deadline for course changes (typically within the first few weeks of the trimester), you will receive a refund for both your tuition and the Student Services Levy.
Your Levy refund will be calculated based on the points withdrawn.
Student services funded by the Levy
The Student Services Levy that you pay helps cover the cost of providing a wide range of student services and facilities. You can find a full list of services supported with Levy funding in Appendix 1 of the Student Services Levy Procedure (PDF).
We have estimated the percentage of the Levy that is allocated to seven different areas, as described below.
Advocacy and legal advice
We spend 7.7 percent of your Student Services Levy on advocacy and legal advice services.
- Our Tauira—Student Interest and Conflict Resolution team offers support for students when making complaints, appealing academic decisions, or resolving pastoral or accommodation issues.
- The Levy pays VUWSA to deliver an independent advocacy service to help students with academic or personal problems. VUWSA also offers training and support for class representatives and Faculty delegates.
- The Levy also supports and funds student representation and activities by Ngāi Tauira, Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) and Pasifika Students’ Council.
Health services, counselling, and pastoral care
We spend 48.3 percent of of your Student Services Levy on providing health services, counselling, and pastoral care.
- Our Mauri Ora—Student Health and Counselling service provides primary medical care, health education, and counselling services for students.
- Our Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing team promotes wellbeing, and provides guidance on staying connected, resources, and workshops. The Levy also funds a Rainbow and Inclusion Adviser and a Refugee-background Student Adviser.
- Our Te Amaru—Disability Services assists students with temporary and ongoing impairments, so that they can fully engage and achieve in their studies.
- Our Āwhina—Māori student support team offers specialised support and connections for our Māori tauira.
- Our Pasifika Student Success team provides our Pasifika students with tools and support services.
- The Levy also funds welfare services such as VUWSA’s community pantry delivery.
Career and employment guidance
We spend 13.2 percent of your Student Services Levy on career and employment guidance services.
- Te Ratonga Rapu Mahi—Careers and Employment connects students with employers, provides careers advice, runs career expos, and helps with CVs and job applications.
- The Careers and Employment team also delivers two programmes. The Wellington Plus Programme connects students with volunteering and leadership opportunities. The Alumni as Mentors programme connects final year students with alumni who can help them transition into employment.
Financial support and advice
We use 3.6 percent of your Student Services Levy to provide financial support and advice.
- Our Student Finance team helps students with budgeting, StudyLink issues, and provides financial mentoring and advice.
- The Student Finance team also administers the Hardship Fund—an emergency fund to help students facing financial difficulties.
Clubs, societies, sports, recreation, fitness, wellbeing and cultural activities
We spend 24.1 percent of your Student Services Levy on clubs and societies, sports, recreation, and fitness, student wellbeing, and cultural activities.
- The Levy helps support more than 130 political, cultural, sports, faith-based, and academic clubs and societies on campus. Clubs use facilities including the Hub, the Recreation Centre activity spaces, and meeting rooms across three University campuses.
- University Recreation offers an extensive range of fitness services, group exercise classes, and wellbeing initiatives. Students can use fitness spaces and facilities at Kelburn and Pipitea—these facilities can either be used for free or hired by members. Our Kelburn facility also includes a newly renovated functional training room and private amenities suitable for gender diverse people.
- Sports at University Recreation vary from casual to competitive. We offer on-campus social sports leagues, casual and 'just play' sessions, participation in tertiary sports tournaments (through University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand), and scholarships that support athletes.
We use 1.6 percent of your Student Services Levy to support student media.
- The Levy funds Salient, a weekly magazine produced entirely by students. It is published and circulated by VUWSA.
We use 1.5 percent of your Student Services Levy to support childcare services for students.
- The University Kids Wellington early childhood education service provides up to 77 full-time equivalent places for the children of our students.
You can find information on all of the student services and support available at our University on the Student services and support webpage.
How we set the Levy rate
The Advisory Committee on the Student Services Levy (ACSSL) is an oversight body that provides strategic and financial oversight for the Levy. VUWSA, Ngāi Tauira, and University staff co-chair the Committee.
The Levy is adjusted each year in a process that takes into account inflation, the cost of delivering each service, and the needs of our students. The cost of service delivery and activity includes staffing, technology and operational expenses.
The Committee makes a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for the following year’s Levy rates following student consultation, then the University Council makes the final decision.
The University publishes the income raised by the Levy and expenditure for each category of student service in its annual report, as outlined in the Ministerial Direction.
Download the Student Services Levy Report (PDF) for more information.
Student representatives on the Committee—such as VUWSA and Ngāi Tauira executives—ensure the Levy is being allocated in students’ best interests. They do this through the Student Assembly and consultation with other student representative groups including the PGSA and the Pasifika Students’ Council.
The Student Assembly is a forum led by students for students, and includes a diverse range of student communities. The purpose of the Assembly is to make sure students get information and an opportunity to shape the rate of the Levy and how the money raised is spent.