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Student Services Levy - Student Engagement

What is the compulsory Student Services Levy?

All universities in New Zealand charge Compulsory Student Services Fees. This levy gives students access to support services that contribute to a positive student experience.  At Massey University these fees are called Student Services Levies (SSL).  This Levy is paid by each enrolled student at Massey University.  It is shown on a student’s fee statement, and is due for payment at the same time as other tuition and non-tuition fees.  Information on fees, including the current scale, is available here.

How can fees collected as Student Services Levy be spent?  

Collecting and spending the SSL money is governed by a Ministerial Direction, which is circulated to tertiary institutions by the New Zealand Government's Minister of Education. The Ministerial Direction provides students with further information about Massey’s use of the levy under designated service categories: Advocacy and legal advice, Careers information, advice and guidance, Counselling and pastoral care, Employment information, Financial support and advice, Health services, Student to student communications (media), Childcare services, Clubs and societies, Sports, recreation and cultural activities. Any revenue received from the Student Services Levy can only be spent on these categories of service.

How do we decide how the funds will be spent?

The University places importance on encouraging a strong student voice.  To achieve this we consult widely to seek feedback from students as to where they think the priorities are for the spending of the Student Services Levy prior to approval of the annual SSL budget.  We achieve this by:

  • Engaging directly with students across the University to learn more about how the levy should be spent and what services are most important. Check out the poster below. 
  • Meeting throughout the year with Massey student associations (ASA, MUSA, MAWSA, M@D) as an important means of seeking input and feedback from students.
  • In August each year the University liaises with student presidents over the following year’s priorities for the Student Services Levy budget.  This involves a Service Level Agreement between the University and the student associations so that associations are funded appropriately to deliver particular services to all students, and ensures that the services delivered are important to student success at Massey.
  • Previous year's suggestions and ideas are available below for students to view

Student voice 2020

How can students ensure their voice is heard?

As indicated above there are a number of opportunities for all students to input. Each year the university and student associations meet to discuss the priorities regarding access to particular student services. The feedback gathered from student associations and the annual student experience survey are also taken into consideration. 

On campus - students on each campus are encouraged to share views during the week of 10 August 2020 through roving interactive feedback boards.  Students can vote by placing up to 10 sticky dots on the areas they feel are of most value to supporting their success. The feedback boards will be rotated around student central areas on all campuses with Student Services team members, in collaboration with students, manning the boards to personally engage and explain the process and encourage productive conversations. 

Online - all students will be emailed a link to an online questionnaire in August 2020 asking for their opinion on how they would like to see the compulsory Student Services Levy allocated to the services listed. 

Students are also able to put forward comments to their relevant students association:

Auckland campus Ōtehā -
Manawatū campus Turitea -
Wellington campus Pukeahu -
Distance Learning Te Ako Mai I Tawhiti -

Student voice 2019

Internal students were encouraged to share their views during July/August 2019 through roving interactive feedback boards on each campus. They voted by placing up to 10 sticky dots on the areas they felt were of most value to supporting their success. The feedback boards were rotated around student central areas on all campuses with Student Services team members, in collaboration with students, manning the boards to personally engage and explain the process and encourage productive conversations.  1,901 dots were placed by internal students on boards roving around Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington campuses.  

Distance students were emailed in August 2019 with a link to an online survey asking for their opinion on how they would like to see the compulsory Student Services Levy allocated to the services listed.  532 responses to the online survey were received from Distance students voicing their opinion.  


How is the compulsory levy spent?

A summary of services provided to students as per the approved ministerial direction categories follow. The Student Services Levy budget allocations for 2020 are:

1    Advocacy and advice

Budgeted for 2020 $898,440 (10%) nationally

These services are contracted to be delivered by student associations, please refer below.

2    Career development and employment advice and resources

Budgeted for 2020 $866,890 (9%) nationally

These funds are used to provide a service which strives to enhance the employability of our students and recent graduates by enabling them to make informed and independent career decisions and to facilitate their transitions from study to work. Students have access to career advice, assistance in seeking employment and in applying for jobs, as well as access to Massey Career Centre on MyHub.  The service also offers a wide range of employer-led seminars and career expos and lots of other information relating to career-related issues. A student development programme has been established to help students build skills through opportunities like the Strengths@Massey programme, leadership and volunteering. This category also includes Student Job Search which is contracted through the student associations.

3    Health and counselling services

Budgeted for 2020 $3,328,843 (36%) nationally

There is a Health and Counselling Centre on each of Massey’s three campuses. These centres are staffed with qualified nurses, doctors and counsellors who provide students with access to a comprehensive range of professional and confidential primary health care services, at minimal cost to students.  These centres receive subsidies from their respective District Health Boards and other sundry income which minimises the overall cost to students for counselling, medical advice, rehabilitation services etc, and reduces the amount of SSL funding required to support these centres.

The centre staff are committed to keeping our students active, healthy and well to achieve their goals while studying at Massey.

4    Pastoral care and wellbeing

Budgeted for 2020 $1,890,381 (21%) nationally

Several services are provided under this category. These include:

Orientation and campus activities - funds are allocated to support campus life and student engagement coordinators who are responsible for delivering a vibrant and welcoming orientation programme to all students.  Funds are also used to maintain an events and activities calendar in consultation with the student associations.

Wellbeing promotion - programmes such as Wellness Wednesdays, sexual health promotion, stop smoking support and stress management are run for students to engage in. 

Students living away from home - services are provided to transition students who move to attend University and live either on or off campus.  Workshops are also offered to ensure they have a range of activities to engage in, encouraging a great living experience while at Massey. 

International student support - these funds are used to provide international students with an adequate level of pastoral support which includes orientation, events and activities, going home workshops, exam preparation, etc.

Chaplaincy services - many of our chaplains on campus are volunteers. The levy provides a portion towards co-ordinating spiritual support. 

Massey Guides / leadership programmes - approximately 250 students are appointed across the three campuses to assist new students transition into University life. Funds are used to provide t-shirts, training, food, resources, and reward and recognition.  Their primary goal is to help other students adapt to University life as quickly as possible.  They also assist in delivering events and other activities throughout the year. Participation in the Massey Guide programme also provides the guides with leadership opportunities.

5    Clubs, cultural groups, societies, sport and recreation

Budgeted for 2020 $1,975,248 (21%) nationally

The Recreation Centres are an important part of student life. These are places where students enjoy recreational activities such as basketball, and co-ordination and running of sports leagues including establishing links to other community activities for students. They are great places to foster and participate in campus life and to make lifelong friends. 

The SSL also provides grants to clubs, societies, and cultural groups.  As long as requests meet criteria, which are agreed each year with the students’ associations, groups can apply for grants, which are funded by the SSL. The purpose of these grants is to ensure that groups are highly active and vibrant.

Also funded through the SSL, administrative services are contracted to be delivered by student associations who play a key role in supporting the ongoing development and maintenance of clubs, societies and cultural groups across the University.

6    Student to student communication (media)

Budgeted for 2020 $240,201 (3%) nationally

Student associations are contracted under this category. Please refer below for more information:

Student associations

Student associations are contracted, or provided grants, to deliver high quality services to students to assist the University meet its requirements as set out in the Education Act and in the relevant Ministerial Direction. These contracts and grants require the student associations to report regularly to the University on the services they are providing to students. The associations are fully accountable to students through the University for the SSL funds they spend delivering on Contract for Services objectives and milestones, or regular grant reports, therefore these reports provide useful information regarding outcomes to date. The services, funded by the SSL but delivered by the student associations are: 

Advocacy and advice - advocating on behalf of individual students and groups of students and providing independent support to resolve problems. This includes advocacy and advice relating to tenancy matters, for example. Some associations also manage a class advocacy system working to address course delivery issues on behalf of the class.

Financial advice and hardship fund - the associations may run budgeting workshops and provide individual budget advice.  Financial support is available to assist students with issues and emergencies that affect wellbeing, and the associations manage applications for hardship assistance, arranging for grants to be made. 

Clubs and societies - supporting student clubs and societies, which includes providing administrative support and facilities for clubs and societies.

Employment information - providing information about employment opportunities for students while they are studying, including Student Job Search.

Sports recreation and cultural activities - providing administration and other support to clubs, societies and cultural group activities which includes building campus life, in conjunction with University staff.

Student media - production of online and hard copy media such as the student magazine, Massive, and other student to student communications/media such as radio, facebook groups, promotion posters etc.

Reporting and decision making requirements

New Zealand Government's Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has produced a compulsory student services fees guide. This document outlines ways for tertiary institutions to comply with the Ministerial Direction. 

The University is required to report the SSL income and expenditure in its annual accounts, and the relevant section covering the compulsory student services fees is in the University’s Annual Report (2019 page 112). Any SSL surplus is carried forward to the following year to be used solely for the provision of student services.

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