Student Services Levy consultation

Read about the University's proposed changes to the way the Student Services Levy is charged, and how you can share your feedback.

Current situation—four fixed-amount categories

The current Student Services Levy system has four fixed-amount categories for different types of student, as described in the first table below.

In many circumstances, students have to apply for rebates, for example, if they are only studying a Trimester 3 course or if they are a PhD student. This is a manual process which requires students to take administrative action. It can be confusing and it often takes time for the refund to be received. The number of exemptions and caveats has made navigating fees difficult for both students and staff.

It is also the case that students who are studying part time currently pay a disproportionate amount of Levy charge compared to their tuition fee charge—many of these students have fewer opportunities to access the student services that the Levy funds.

The current system of having four, fixed-amount categories does not offer the flexibility to reflect how different student cohorts use services and what an equitable charge should be.

Proposed change—per point calculation

Students are already currently charged for their tuition fees according to the number of points in the course or courses that they are taking. The proposed change would alter the Levy so that is was also charged per point of course, rather than being a fixed charge as it is currently. This would provide a more transparent and simpler charging structure that is in line with the way other universities charge student services levies.

The Levy would be capped to a maximum of 150 points per student per calendar year.

Proposed cost per point

Students studying in Wellington, who are more likely to use services, would be charged at a higher rate than those studying outside of Wellington. The proposed per point charges are:

  • $8 per point for students studying on-campus or off-campus within Wellington region
  • $4 per point for students studying off-campus outside of Wellington region or off-campus outside of New Zealand.
  • The proposed charges for some of the different student groups are shown in the second table below. There would be no significant change to the amount of Levy revenue being collected by the University overall.

    Students doing fewer than 105 points would pay less

    With the proposed per point charging system in place:

    • If you are studying fewer than 105 points per academic year, you would pay a lower Levy charge than under the current system.
    • If you are studying more than 105 points per academic year, you would pay a higher Levy charge than under the current system.

    2021 and 2022 Levies with the current four fixed-amount categories

    Student type 2021 Levy

    2022 Levy

    Enrolled in 25 points or more, on-campus or off-campus within the Wellington region $843.00 $861.00
    Enrolled in 25 points or more, off-campus outside of Wellington region or off-campus outside of New Zealand $421.50 $430.50
    Enrolled in less than 25 points, on-campus and off-campus within Wellington region $421.50 $430.50
    Enrolled in less than 25 points, off-campus outside of the Wellington region or off-campus outside of New Zealand $210.75 $215.25

    Comparing 2022 Levies under the current and proposed systems

    This table compares the Student Services Levy that would be charged in 2022 for some of the different student groups.

    • The middle column shows the Levy that would be charged under the current system, after rebates have applied to the four fixed-amount categories for applicable student groups.
    • The last column shows the Levy that those students would be charged under the proposed per point system.
    Student type2022 Levies - current system 2022 Levies - proposed system
    On campus - 120 points $861 $960
    On campus - 100 points $861 $800
    On campus - 60 points $861 $480
    On campus studying 1 Trimester to complete degree - 30 points $430.50 $240
    PhD commence April $645.75 $720
    Trimester 2 commence - 50 points $861 $400
    Trimester 3 only enrolment - 20 points $287 $160
    Off campus - 20 points $215.25 $80
    Off campus - 60 points $432 $240

    Modelling is based on a 2.14% increase applied to the current 2021 levy.

    Rationale for change

    Why are we are proposing a change to the system for charging the Student Services Levy? We aim to:

    • Achieve a clearer process. Moving to a points-based charge will remove the need for students to apply for rebates. The Levy will be simpler and more transparent as the charge will be calculated upfront at the time of enrolment. It will be easier for students to understand what they are being charged for and when.
    • Help students to plan their finances better—they will no longer have to request rebates and wait for refunds.
    • Ensure that the Levy paid increases or decreases in proportion to students' engagement with the University.

    Share your views

    We want your feedback on the proposed changes to the Student Services Levy charge. The student consultation period runs from Monday 5 July to Friday 16 July.

    Email your feedback to student-Levy@vuw.ac.nz.

    Following the consultation period, ACSSL (Advisory Committee for the Student Services Levy) will present a recommendation to the University, which will then be considered by the University Council. Students will be informed of the outcome towards the end of 2021.

    Additional information

    Off-campus exemptions:

    • Health and Nursing students who are based solely at the Hospital for their course of study are charged at the off-campus rate, regardless of their location.
    • Deaf Studies students who are enrolled in DEAF papers only are charged at the off-campus rate.
    • STAR students, regardless of their location, are charged the off-campus rate.
    • The Student Assistance Levy supports the University Hardship Fund. This charge per student will continue to be charged separately at the flat rate of $28 for 2022.