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Student Services Fee

Enjoy a unique Otago student experience

*PLEASE NOTE: If you are eligible for First Year fees free, this includes the Student Services Fee. You will not be charged the Fee and you can still access all the services listed below.

University of Otago, OUSA and you work together to determine how to best provide you with the right services to enhance your student experience. Play social sport, go rockclimbing, visit the Doctor, or get great advocacy support, or careers advice – you can do it all. We seek and value your input so we can make the best decisions on how to spend money collected from the Student Services Fee. Legislation requires that all money collected from the Fee is spent on student services.

What you need to know about the Student Services Fee:

Please contact Student Services if you have further questions regarding the Fee.

Where does my Fee go?

Take a look below at the many quality student services that help you have an outstanding Otago student experience, made possible with the help of this fee.


Services funded or subsidised from the Student Services Fee

Recreation services

  • Recreation and fitness programmes
  • Social sport, games and tournaments
  • UNIPOL gym
  • Music events – gigs, Battle of the Bands, Future DJ, Onefest
  • Orientation
  • Capping & the Capping Show
  • Market days
  • Art week
  • Clubs & societies
  • Associations including Te Roopu (Māori Students’ Association), African Students’ Association, Medical Student Association, Languages & Cultures Student Association

Student Health services: primary health care via

  • GPs
  • Practice nurses
  • Counsellors
  • Health educator
  • Psychiatrist

Advocacy: chaplaincy & pastoral care

  • Student Support Centre
  • Non-academic pastoral care
  • Interfaith chaplaincy services

Financial support and advice

  • Student emergency and hardship fund
  • Financial support and advice

Media: student communication activities

  • Critic & Orientation magazines
  • Radio One 91FM
  • Facebook & Web presence

Careers services

  • Careers advice, guidance, planning
  • Workshops
  • Providing employment information to assist students transitioning from university to the workplace
  • Student Job Search
  • Opportunities for volunteering

Internet access

  • High speed internet for on-campus students’ personal use (non-academic purposes). It does not cover internet use for academic purposes, which is covered by tuition fees

Childcare services

  • Pre-school childcare services for students who are parents

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How is the fee set?

OUSA and the University of Otago work closely throughout the year to review the services funded from the Student Services Fee.

Student feedback is gathered from a variety of sources including:

  • Student Satisfaction Survey
  • OUSA Survey
  • Focus groups

Student representation on working parties and student membership on University committees and the University Council also contribute to providing feedback on the best use of the fee.

The fee component for services provided by OUSA this year was negotiated with OUSA as part of the annual Service Level Agreement. Feedback and consultation with students are key contributors in finalising the fee for services provided by the University.

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How can I have input into how my Fee is spent?

To assist us with how the fee is spent next year talk to OUSA or give feedback in the Semester one survey and/or the Semester 2 forum. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on the priorities and quality of services you’re receiving from the Fee. All feedback provided via the survey is analysed, the results are discussed between the University and OUSA and shared with you at the Semester 2 forum. We then use that information to make decisions on how the fee is spent and to provide you with the best services possible.

Look out for the Semester 1 survey or attend the Student Services forum in Semester 2.

Otago University and OUSA – working together to provide the ultimate student experience


“OUSA is your independent student body. Membership is voluntary and at no cost. OUSA works closely with the University to determine what services you want. Have your say – come chat to us, or attend one of the forums. OUSA provides student run services – such as advocacy, orientation, and market days.”

- Hugh Baird (2017 OUSA President)


“The Fee helps to pay for services not directly related to tuition such as health, recreation and other core student services to enhance your student experience. The University values your input and feedback whether via OUSA or directly and I encourage you to take the opportunity to participate in the survey and forum."

- Karyn Thomson (Director of Student Services)

For more information, or to provide feedback, please contact:

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How much is the Fee?

*PLEASE NOTE: If you are eligible for First Year fees free, this includes the Student Services Fee. You will not be charged the Fee and you can still access all the services listed above.

In 2018 the Student Services Fee for Dunedin on-campus students is $798.00 (GST inclusive).

What do I pay if I am not based on the Dunedin campus?

The fee is used to subsidise health care, related welfare services, advocacy, and recreation/internet for students on the non-Dunedin campuses.

Otago campus (Christchurch)$153.00
Otago campus (Wellington)$124.00
Southland campus students$134.00
Postgraduate students attending these campuses$40.83 (for internet)

What if I am enrolled for only one semester?

First Semester

If you enrol in the first semester you pay the full year Fee but can choose to apply at the Student Finance Office in the Clocktower for a refund of half the Fee provided you are not enrolled for the second semester and you surrender your University Student ID Card by the date below, under ' Who is eligible for a refund of the Fee?'.

Find out more about applying for a refund if you are not attending in Semester 2.

From the time of making an application you will be ineligible to use any of the services to which the Fee contributes.

Second semester

If you enrol for the second semester only, you pay half the Student Services Fee.

Do distance students pay the Student Services Fee?

No. Students enrolled for courses taught entirely at a distance are not charged the Student Services Fee.

How much do Summer School students pay?

Student Services Fee for Summer School is $133.00.

This fee is compulsory however there are certain exemptions that may apply (see below).

Find out more about all fees payable by students at the University of Otago.

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What refunds and exemptions are available?

Who is eligible for a refund of the Fee?

Students who have completed Semester One and not enrolled for Semester Two are eligible for a refund provided they hand in/send their ID Card to the Student Finance Office by 5pm  Friday 28 July 2017.

2nd semester starts on Monday 10 July 2017.

Student Finance Office address: Student Finance Office, Clocktower, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054.

Doctoral students and students enrolled for the thesis component of a Master’s degree who have submitted their thesis for examination, and who are not enrolled for any other papers, are entitled, upon surrender of their University ID card, to a pro-rata refund of the Student Services Fee which they have paid as follows:

By 31 March 201775%
By 30 June 201750%
By 30 September 201725%

Who is eligible for an exemption from the Fee?

Please note, students exempted are not permitted to use any of the services to which the fee contributes. Any queries about exemptions should be directed to

The following groups are exempt from the Fee:

  • Staff members (“Staff member” means a person who is employed by the University on a half time or greater basis and has a contract of employment with the University of 10 months or longer. In any case of difficulty in applying this definition the matter shall be finally determined by the Director, Human Resources)
  • Students enrolled for distance papers only
  • Students enrolled for interest only* and not eligible to sit degree examinations. *Note this is a special category and does not mean the same as studying because you are interested in a particular subject.
  • A student specifically exempted from the fee, in full or in part, under the authority of the Director, Student Services

Find out more about fee exemptions at Otago.

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