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Student Services Fee

Helping fund your unique Otago experience

Find out about your student services fee - what it is, what it helps to fund, and how you can have your say for the future.

The fees-free policy for first year students also applies to this fee.

What is the student services fee?

It’s a compulsory fee that is charged to help fund a range of support services so that they’re available to all students - like health care, gym and recreation activities, careers advice, internet access on campus for your personal use, campus events, financial advice, advocacy, pastoral care.

How much is the 2019 fee?

Full-year One semester only

Dunedin campus $813.74 $406.87
Christchurch campus $186.33 $93.16
Wellington campus $162.27 $81.13
Southland campus $134.00 $67.00
Postgraduate students enrolled at Christchurch campus
(studying full time, on campus)
$186.33 $93.16
Postgraduate students enrolled at Christchurch campus
(studying part time, on campus)
$40.83 $20.41
Postgraduate students enrolled at Wellington campus $40.83 20.41
Summer school (up to maximum of $813.74 when included in a full year of 2019 study) $135.62

Does the 2018 fees-free policy for first year students apply to this fee?

Yes, if you’re eligible the government will pay your tuition fees and student services fee for your first year of tertiary study. Visit Fees Free at Otago in 2019 to find out more, and to check your eligibility.

What sort of services does the fee contribute to?

Category Services and providers
Advocacy and legal advice Advice & support, accommodation information, advocacy. Provided by OUSA Support Centre
Careers support, advice and information Careers advice, guidance, planning, workshops, and expos.  Provided by University
Childcare services Childcare services for students who are parents. Provided by the Otago University Childcare Association
Clubs and societies Clubs and societies on campus.  Provided by OUSA and University
Counselling services Non-academic counselling and pastoral care.  Provided by University, Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust, OUSA Student Support Centre
Employment information Information and opportunities for volunteering, Student Job Search.  Provided by University and OUSA
Financial support and advice Hardship assistance and advice on financial issues.  Provided by University and OUSA
Health services Subsidised general practice health care; Specialist mental health support. Provided by University
Media Student media and student social media.  Provided by OUSA
Sports, recreation and cultural activities Sports, fitness and wellbeing activities, recreation events, Internet on campus for personal use. Note: internet for academic purposes is included in tuition fees. Provided by University and OUSA

Student Services Fees Allocation 2019

SSF Pie chart

Can I apply for a refund or exemption of this fee?

There are some limited circumstances where you can receive a refund or exemption. In these cases you then can’t use any of the services that the student services fee helps fund.


  • Students fully withdrawing – if you withdraw from your studies and are entitled to a full refund of your tuition fees (less the $100 tuition refund fee) your student services fee will also be automatically refunded. If you enrol and pay a student services fee for the full year, then withdraw from the second semester in time to receive a full refund of your 2nd semester tuition fee then you are entitled to a refund of half the fee. This will also be automatically refunded.
  • Doctoral students and students enrolling for the thesis component of a Master’s degree after the beginning of an academic year – if you enrol after the academic year has begun you'll be charged a pro-rata fee based on the number of quarters or part quarters of the year you’re enrolled in.
  • Doctoral students and students completing the thesis component of a Master’s degree - if you submit your thesis for examination and are not enrolled for any other papers in the academic year you're entitled to a pro-rata refund of the fee paid upon handing in your University ID card to the Fees Office, based on the following:
Date Refund
By 31 March 2019 75%
By 30 June 2019 50%
By 30 September 2019 25%

You will need to hand your ID card into the Fees Office then they will process your refund.


The following groups of students are exempt.  If you fall into one of these categories you will need to apply to Student Services by emailing

  •  Students enrolled for distance papers only – this exemption is automatically calculated.
  • 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. 
  • Secondary school students studying University papers while also still at school
  • Staff members – ‘’staff member” means a person who is employed by the University on a half time or greater basis for 10 months or longer.  If there is any dispute about meeting this definition the Director, Human Resources will decide.  If a staff member is receiving staff study assistance the refund will be automatically returned to the department. 
  • Exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Director, Student Services – the Director may authorise a part or full refund in exceptional circumstances.

Find out more about fee exemptions at Otago.