In October 2011 the Australian Parliament passed legislation to allow universities and other higher education providers to charge a compulsory Student Services and Amenities Fee.
The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) provides a significant increase in the level of funding previously available to student services and amenities at tertiary institutions. This means that we can provide welfare, advocacy and engagement services each session- like Bluestockings, R U Ok day, Parties, BBQs, First Aid Courses, Advocacy support and a large range of other services- all agreed upon by the Student Association Committee.
Principles for the allocation of SSAF funds
Here at CoastRs Student Association we are always here to help as much as we can. However, there are limits on what we can spend SSAF funds and legislation we need to comply with.
The University must follow the following principles for the allocation of funds collected from SSAF. The allocation of funds will:
- Maintain current funding levels provided to recipients under the University’s transition funding agreement;
- Support and strengthen the capacity of the University’s independent student-run organisations;
- Comply with the SSAF Act;
- Increase service provision to students in the areas specified by the SSAF Act;
- Ensure a fair and reasonable distribution of funds between recipient organisations; and
- Provide recipient organisations with greater long-term funding certainty.
These funds raised must also relate to the provision of specific non-academic and non-political services.
What can providers spend fee revenue on?
A provider that charges a student services and amenities fee will only be able to spend the fee on the provision of the following services:
- providing food or drink to students on a campus of the higher education provider (such as CoastRs morning teas, BBQs and various events run each session);
- supporting a sporting or other recreational activity by students;
- supporting the administration of a club most of whose members are students (such as the clubs listed under our Clubs and Societies page);
- caring for children of students;
- providing legal services to students (such as the Advocacy service);
- 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 the higher education provider’s rules (however described);
- advocating students’ interests in matters arising under the higher education provider’s rules (however described);
- giving students information to help them in their orientation (such as the Survival Guide); and
- helping meet the specific needs of overseas students relating to their welfare, accommodation and employment.
Providers can choose to deliver the services and amenities themselves or contract a third party to deliver the services and amenities on the providers’ behalf.
Will students have a say in how fee revenue is spent?
Yes. Under the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines (Representation Guidelines), universities are required to have a formal process of consultation with democratically elected student representatives and representatives from major student organisations at the university regarding the specific uses of proceeds from any compulsory student services and amenities fee.
For further information visit here.