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 Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)


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What is the Student Services and Amenities Fee?

The University of Queensland continues to maintain its commitment to supporting and enhancing the university experience for students through the provision of a full and rich array of services. The abolition of compulsory student union fees in 2006 had a significant impact on the breadth of services provided by the UQ Union and UQ Sport organisations.


To help address the loss of income, the University made interim grants each year to UQ Union and UQ Sport to assist with the provision of their services to students. The grants in 2011 totalled just under $2,000,000. The University also provides many frontline, non-academic services to students including health services, counselling, careers advice, accommodation services, multi-faith services, etc. at a cost of over $5,000,000 per year.


In October 2011 the Australian Parliament passed legislation allowing universities and other higher education providers to charge a fee for student services and amenities of a non-academic nature. The fee may be spent by higher education providers on items such as sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, child care, financial advice and food services.

 

Details of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) legislation and the full list of allowable uses is published on the Department of Education and Training site https://education.gov.au/student-services-and-amenities-fee

 

The University and UQ Union worked together for several years to make sure that any changes in support services funding would not affect the student experience. A formal Services and Funding Agreement between the University and UQ Union was agreed in 2009 to give UQ Union long term funding certainty to provide quality student support services. Funds provided under the agreement can only be used for services as defined in the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2010. The agreement anticipated that the introduction of the SSAF would replace and enhance the interim grants provided by the University.

At the University of Queensland the Student Services Fee (SSAF) is a compulsory fee, the proceeds of which can only be spent, according to legislation, on student services and amenities of a non-academic nature, such as:

  • providing food or drink to students on campus;
  • supporting a sporting or other recreational activity by students;
  • supporting the administration of a club most of whose members are students;
  • caring for children of students;
  • providing legal services to students;
  • promoting the health or welfare of students;
  • helping students secure accommodation;
  • helping students obtain employment or advice on careers;
  • helping students with their financial affairs;
  • helping students obtain insurance against personal accidents;
  • supporting debating by students;
  • providing libraries and reading rooms (other than those provided for academic purposes) for students;
  • supporting an artistic activity by students;
  • supporting the production and dissemination to students of media whose content is provided by students;
  • helping students develop skills for study, by means other than undertaking courses of study in which they are enrolled;
  • advising on matters arising under UQ’s rules;
  • advocating students’ interests in matters arising under UQ’s rules;
  • giving students information to help them in their orientation; and
  • helping meet the specific needs of overseas students relating to their welfare, accommodation and employment.

The University is committed to working with major student organisations to ensure that representation and consultation is robust. In 2012 the UQ Student Services and Amenities Fee Advisory Committee was established to manage the allocation of SSAF funds. Student groups are represented on the Advisory Committee by the UQ Union, the UQ Graduate School and UQ Sport.

 

Please direct any queries regarding the consultation process or use of the SSAF to:


UQ Union Secretary
secretary@uqu.com.au

 

or
the UQ Answers ‘
Send us your question’ web page.