Under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988, it is a condition of receiving Commonwealth Operating Grants that the University does not charge students fees unless they comply with strict guidelines issued by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
An extract of the DEEWR Guidelines (PDF File 51.7 KB).
The key principle is that HECS liable or non-fee paying HECS exempt students must be able to complete their course without course related charges imposed by the University. This precludes charges for compulsory or essential components of a course or its assessment and award.
The University may charge students for goods or services, the purchase of which is voluntary and is not a requirement of a program of study for an award of the University.
The University must not charge students for goods or services which are required for a course of study. Some examples of this are:
- Course materials such as subject outlines, reading lists, assignment and essay questions;
- Access to library books, periodicals and manuals;
- Clinical, laboratory or workshop materials such as anaesthetic, chemicals, filters, fuel, fertilisers used in practical sessions or research; and
- Access to computers or other online resources;
The University may charge students for goods or services that are ancillary or additional to their course of study as illustrated in the examples below.
a) Charges for additional materials or services which are not essential
- Access to the Internet except where this is required as part of the course;
- Printing of notes from the Internet or disks;
- Graduation ceremonies provided the student does not need to attend the ceremony to graduate; and
- Recommended textbooks provided the student is aware that the text is not essential.
b) Charges for additional materials or services which are essential but are readily available via alternative means at no charge.
- Lecture notes and tapes provided the lectures are available to students at no additional charge; and
- Reading material such as anthologies of required readings provided these texts are available at no additional charge;
c) Under certain circumstances, charges for goods or services, which are a component of a course if students have the choice of acquiring these items from an alternative supplier.
- Goods and services which are necessary to produce items which become physical property of students;
- Food transport and accommodation associated with field trips; and
- Equipment regarded as a tool of trade which students would take with them at the completion of their course and which working professionals would normally own (eg: musical instruments, protective clothing or footwear, stethoscopes).
Student Levies and Charges Declaration
Each budget centre is required to co-ordinate a declaration of any charges to students within their budget centre. The declaration is for the current student year. The declaration is to be submitted to the Director – Financial Services no later than the Friday before Semester 1 of the current year.
The Head of Budget Centre is to sign the declaration stating that the charges are within the current government guidelines.
A pro forma declaration is available in the following formats:
- Student Charges Declaration (PDF File 9.4 KB)
- Student Charges Declaration (MS Excel Document 54.5 KB)
Annual Letter of Representation
As part of the annual letter of representation, a statement of compliance with current government guidelines is to be included.
University Compliance Review
Monitoring and reporting of compliance issues has been included in the Internal Audit plan and will be regularly reviewed by the internal auditors.