Student Services Fee

Figuring out what you owe for study can seem a bit complicated, especially when it comes to understanding student services fees.

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Student Services Fee, otherwise known as a Student Levy is a compulsory cost which forms part of your fee and pays for your access to particular student services to ensure you get all the support you need while you're with us.

Different students get charged different amounts depending on how they're studying. For example, on campus students in Dunedin can physically access Student Health so their fee includes access to this service. Distance or online students wouldn't have this access so don't get charged.

The different Student Services Fee amounts are shown in this table:

  Dunedin Students Distance or online students Central Otago students Capable NZ students
ID Card $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00
Access to Student Health and Counselling $215.00 N/A $215.00 N/A
Access to Student Services $426.00 $251.00 $346.00 $251.00
Total charged $656.00 $266.00 $576.00 $266.00

Your Student Services Fee pays for you to be able to access the following services and enables us to keep providing these services for you (you may have access to a different variety of these depending on how you're studying): 

Services covered by the Student Services Fee

Advocacy and legal advice

Advocacy support is provided to learners needing help to resolve problems. Advocacy is undertaken by an impartial person on behalf of learners, and they provide legal advice as necessary. All issues are resolved or escalated to a higher level to be heard and resolved.

Career information, advice and guidance

Support is provided to learners to assist their transition into employment. Support includes CV workshops, interview practice, one-on-one advice and liaison with Career Guides (third year Bachelor of Social Service learners with a Career focus for their degree).

Childcare services

Childcare facilities are available to parents while studying through Polykids. This facility provides childcare from birth through to five years old.

Clubs and societies

Otago Polytechnic learners can also access clubs and recreation facilities offered through the Otago University Students’ Association. The OUSA Recreation Centre provides amenities including meeting rooms, exercise space and equipment for hire. It organises tournaments, and is the base of  sports, religious and cultural clubs.

Counselling services

Three counsellors (1.4 FTE) are available for one-on-one appointments to provide learners with counselling and pastoral care. Workshops are also held to support learners to cope with anxiety and prepare for exams. A Chaplain is also available to provide pastoral care and counselling.

Employment information

This service is undertaken by Careers Guidance, and is developing within the Polytechnic. Links to industry and the workplace are being established. Industry representatives will be brought onto the campus to provide a workplace perspective as part of an interview panel for practice interviews and providing industry focus through information evenings and fairs.

Financial support and advice

Budgeting advice is freely available for learners. Hardship situations are assessed and help may be provided with financial assistance and food parcels.

Health services

Otago Polytechnic has a Student Health Centre, with doctors and nurses available for learners to access as needed. They provide a variety of services to support learners to stay well, receive timely advice and gain medical assistance.


Otago Polytechnic sponsors the online learner news and supports online communities for learners across the Polytechnic.

Communications channels are also enabled through the Student Subcommittee of Council and the OPSA committee.

Information is provided to the representatives of both these committees to enable learner discussion and input and they are also able to bring issues to these forums.

Sports and recreation facilities

Unipol provides a wide range of services at the nearby University Plaza. These services are available to all learners, on presentation of their Learner/Student ID.

How does the Student Services Fee get worked out?

Fees are charged per learner (not per EFTS) once the learner is enrolled in over 20 credits on any one enrolment. These fees were set for the 2012 year and have remained unchanged since.

Otago Polytechnic consults with the learner on the Student Services Fee. In 2020, Otago Polytechnic provided the Otago Polytechnic Student Council (Student Council) and the Otago Polytechnic Student Association (OPSA) with a breakdown of the different types and amounts of Compulsory Student Services Fees and a summary of how these were spent over the last two years.

OPSA discussed the proposal at a meeting at which the Chair of the Student Council was present. The Chair of the Student Council attended an Otago Polytechnic Board Meeting at which he provided feedback from OPSA and participated in discussion on the level of the Compulsory Student Services Fee, the proposed zero increase and the type of services to be delivered.

It was agreed that the fee should remain unchanged.

Have your say regarding Student Services Fees

Every October, Otago Polytechnic holds an open and widely publicised meeting of the Otago Polytechnic Student Council. At these meetings we ask for learner feedback to determine the priority areas for funding in the following year. All learners are welcome to participate in this meeting and share their ideas.

Otago Polytechnic Students' Association also presents Student Services Fee information to all class representatives as well as the learner elected board to determine how their funds are spent and seeks bi-monthly feedback on services. In addition, learners are invited to give feedback on services and budget plans via a notification on the student hub.

Learners can be involved in the decision-making process at any time by contacting Lesley Scoullar and/or Brayden Murray.

Information on Student Services Fees is also publicly available each year through Otago Polytechnic's annual reports.

Download our latest report

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