Fee Management and Student Consultation

Managing the Fee

The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is used to improve the quality and quantity of non-academic student services and amenities that fall within a list of specified funding categories. In 2012, the University established a formal consultation process, including:

  • publishing identified priorities for proposed fee expenditure
  • providing opportunities for students and student associations to comment on priorities
  • consultation with democratically elected student representatives and representatives of major student organisations on funding priorities.

Stage

Activity

1

Student consultation (surveys, forums, submissions, committee meetings)

2

Project initiation (concept / need identification, proposal development, initial planning, Committee endorsement, student feedback, executive approval)

3

Project planning (finalisation of project plans)

4

Implementation / execution (project work package/brief)

5

Monitoring and control (quality assurance, progress reports)

6

Completion (evaluation, reporting, acquittals)

Strategic Framework and Funding Priorities

Based on feedback through consultation and student surveys, the SSAF Committee has established a Strategic Framework to guide the allocation of SSAF funds to deliver a suitable mixture of immediate benefits for students and the achievement of long term strategic priorities.

Level

Activity

1

Building robust and resilient student engagement and elected student representation is key to future UNE success

2

Phased development of longer term strategic initiatives that align with future-proofing UNE's vision: "Learning without limits"

3

Investment with immediate benefits, shorter term projects

4

Clubs and Societies capacity building & otherwise open to a bidding process

5 Student survey guidance
Governance and Consultation

Student consultation and fund allocation is overseen by the SSAF Committee, delivering expertise in the management of the fee and a vehicle for consultation with students and student representatives. The Committee plays a central role in the student consultation and fund allocation process. The Committee is made up of a balanced membership of student representatives, UNESA and staff of the University that provide expertise in specific areas, including facilities management, student administration and services, operations and residential systems. The Committee is chaired by the Chief Financial Officer of UNE and reports to the University Executive.

The purpose of the SSAF Committee is to:

  • Oversee student consultation and related activities in line with the requirements of the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines.
  • Serve as a forum for the University to meet with democratically elected student representatives to consider priorities for the use of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) revenue.
  • Provide the Vice-Chancellor with recommendations for the distribution of SSAF revenue.
  • Monitor the use of SSAF revenue against proposed priorities.

Opportunities exist for students to participate in SSAF consultation and Committee meetings. Please express your interest by contacting the University of New England Student Association (UNESA).

Having your say

There are a number of ways you can have your say about the collection and allocation of the SSAF.

Have an idea for a new project or initiative? Why not submit it now!

You may also wish to make contact or express your views through the UNE Student Association (UNESA), contact details are below: 

Online: www.unesa.org.au
Email:  unesa@une.edu.au
Telephone: 02 6773 3623
By post: PO BoxU1, UNE, Armidale NSW 2351

Consultation Timeline

The SSAF Committee actively consults and communicates with the student body at UNE to ensure SAAF fund allocation aligns with student need, funding priorities and in response to student feedback. Students are encouraged to become involved in the consultation process and share their ideas about the allocation of SSAF funds now and into the future.

Proposed Expenditure Lists
Student Consultation Report 2015

UNE strives to support genuine, meaningful and collaborative consultation with UNE’s diverse student body regarding the collection and allocation of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). During the three-week period 3 September to 20 September 2015, UNE’s SSAF Committee conducted an online Student Consultation Survey to gather ideas and feedback from all students about the collection and allocation of the SSAF.

The SSAF survey is one of a number of avenues that support genuine, meaningful and collaborative consultation with the University’s diverse student body, to inform decision-making regarding funding priorities and allocations of SSAF funding for the subsequent year. 2015 was the first year since SSAF was introduced that the survey has been restricted to on campus students only. From 2014, off-campus and cross-institutional students have been exempt from paying SSAF at UNE.

A total of 666 responses were submitted during the survey period, comprised of (76%) under-graduate students and (24%) postgraduate (by coursework) students. The survey mirrors the demographic composition of the total student body, by enrolment type, study load, residential status, age, gender, and study mode. A number of key findings were generated by the survey, including the following:

  • The top three preferences for the allocation of the SSAF for all on-campus students are services and amenities related to: health & welfare, employment & careers and study skills. This has been a consistent response across several years of the SSAF surveys;
  • The 2015 student survey saw an improved response rate (14%) from previous years despite the exclusion of off campus students;
  • Awareness levels regarding SSAF have remained steady since 2014, with 83% of students having higher levels of awareness about SSAF although to varying degrees;
  • Levels of awareness about the SSAF are positively correlated with levels of satisfaction;
  • Results identify opportunities to more specifically target activity for on-campus students, together with enhancing levels of awareness and student satisfaction. Opportunities include programs and amenities accessed via residential colleges, targeted activity for on-campus students and on-campus international students.

Submissions from students included a range of ideas, concerns and general comments regarding the collection and allocation of the SSAF. This report provides a summary of those responses.

View the complete 2015 Student Consultation Survey ((PDF, 481.82 KB)).

Student Consultation Survey Report 2014

The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is a fee charged to students for the provision of a range of services and amenities of a non-academic nature. During the six-week period 22 September to 31 October 2014, UNE conducted an online Student Consultation Survey to gather ideas and feedback from all students about the collection and allocation of the SSAF. The survey is one of a number of avenues that support genuine, meaningful and collaborative consultation with the University's diverse student body, to inform decision making regarding funding priorities and allocations for the SSAF.

  • The top three preferences for the allocation of the SSAF for all on-campus and off-campus students are services and amenities related to: health & welfare, employment & careers and study skills. Also ranked in the top five for on-campus students are finances, accommodation, legal services, food & drink, orientation, advocacy, and sport.
  • Preferred funding categories differ between on-campus and off-campus students. On-campus students rank finances, legal services, food & drink, sports, clubs and insurance more highly than off-campus students. Whereas, off-campus students rank accommodation, advocacy, orientation, rule changes, libraries, childcare and overseas student needs more highly.
  • The survey highlights a difference in the profile of on-campus in contrast to off-campus students, including a higher proportion of international (18%), higher degree research (9%) and students living on campus (38%).
  • Results identify opportunities to more specifically target activity for on-campus students, together with enhancing levels of awareness and student satisfaction. Opportunities include services and amenities accessed via residential colleges, targeted activity for on-campus higher degree research students and on-campus international students. Levels of awareness about the SSAF are related to levels of satisfaction.

On campus student preferences graph 

Above: On campus student preferences graph 

A full copy of the Student Consultation Survey 2014 ((PDF, 817.16 KB)) is available online.

Student Consultation Survey Report 2013

The 2012 survey results show that, within the top five priorities identified for enhancing services and amenities, students agreed on the importance of employment/careers advice, health/welfare services, study skills support, help with finances and finding accommodation.

UNE students were recently invited to participate in a survey on SSAF spending preferences. Survey participants were asked to rank in order of preference the 19 different services on which universities may spend SSAF funds. Participants could choose to rank all 19 items or only some of the items, but had to rank at least one preference in order for their survey response to be considered valid. Participants were also given the option to provide suggestions for SSAF spending.

782 valid survey responses were received. Results for all students, on and off-campus students are illustrated below.

 

A full copy of the Student Consultation Survey 2013 is available online.

SSAF Program Management Kit

The University of New England is committed to the efficient and effective delivery of projects and initiatives funded under the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). The following resources have been designed to support continuous improvement and the effective delivery of SSAF funded projects and initiatives to maximise student benefit.

If you have any questions or concerns about the material on this page, please contact the SSAF Project Manager by email: ssaf@une.edu.au

Project Management Tools and Resources

Program Management Tools and Resources

Guidelines, Legislation and Other Information

Further information about SSAF can be obtained from the Australian Government Department of Education website.