On 11 October 2011, the Australian Parliament passed legislation allowing universities and other higher education providers to charge a fee for student services and amenities of a non-academic nature.

The legislation dictates that the fees collected may be spent by higher education providers on items such as:

  • sporting and recreational activities
  • employment and career advice
  • child care
  • supporting student representation
  • financial advice.

VU has been collecting these fees since 2012. This page outlines how the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) has been used to provide non-academic support services and improved facilities for all students at VU.

Watch out for the SSAF logo. Anything with this logo was funded by SSAF. That means you were a part of making it happen.

What has SSAF been allocated for in 2019?

At the commencement of the 2019 year, VU anticipates SSAF revenue will be approximately $4.85m. In adherence with the Student Services & Amenities Fee Governance and Management Framework, VU has SSAF funds have been allocated as listed below:

  • Student Life: Student Life programs and events, Clubs, Societies and Student Volunteer Programs $1.49m
  • Student Wellbeing: Student Counselling Services $1.25m
  • Student Wellbeing: Student Advocacy Services $198k
  • Student Wellbeing: Student Welfare Services $376k
  • Student Leadership: Student Leadership Programs and Services $90k
  • Student Experience Initiative Grants: Student Experience Initiative Grants $40k (managed by Student Life on behalf of the SSAF Consultative Committee)
  • VUSU: Victoria University Student Union and affiliated student associations: $380k (external organisation funding allocation)
  • VU Sport: Student Sport & Health Services $291k
  • Student Communications: Student Media Initiatives $292k
  • Student Services: Student Success & Support Programs $966k
  • Office of the PVC Students: Student facility / amenity project grant $100k.

The University will fund internal student services where the allocation is over the anticipated SSAF revenue (e.g. student success and support programs, student media initiatives).

2019 Review of SSAF Funding Priorities

VU will be continuing its dialogue with students in 2019 on how SSAF should best be invested in future years. This will include consultation via another dedicated SSAF Survey and Focus Groups throughout the year, as well feedback from SSAF Consultative Committee members.
 
This will inform our funding allocation and options for 2020, in line with our annual cycle of planning and development each year for SSAF activities. 
 

Previous years' SSAF allocation

In 2018, funds from SSAF went towards programs, projects, activities and services that improve the student experience at VU and offer greater support across our many diverse student cohorts. Highlights included:

  • helping students to develop skills for study
  • Delivering new student-led media to assist students to receive information and in the channels they prefer
  • supporting university teams in various competitions endorsed by the Australian University of Sport
  • delivering Orientation and Student Welcome programs
  • Helping students with their financial affairs
  • producing the Student Diary
  • Funding for the Victoria University Student Union (VUSU) to deliver activities funded by SSAF under a service level agreement with VU
  • providing professional counselling services and advocacy support
  • Offering Student Experience Initiative Grants that enable students and staff to deliver activities that improve the student experience; and
  • refurbishing the parenting room at Footscray Park campus.

For the full list of reported activities, please view 2018 Summary of SSAF Priorities, Grants and Benefits to Students.

In 2017, funds from SSAF went toward projects and benefits such as:

  • supporting university teams in various competitions endorsed by the Australian University of Sport
  • producing the Student Diary
  • providing professional counselling services
  • refurbishing the parenting room at Footscray Park campus. 

Read the  2017 Summary of SSAF Priorities, Grants and Benefits to Students.

In 2016, funds from SSAF went toward projects and benefits that included:

  • refurbishing the stadium courts on the Footscray Park campus
  • a full calendar of student life events (including orientation activities for Semester 1 and 2)
  • the Student Leadership program
  • advocacy services
  • producing the student magazine Hyde.

Read the  2016 Summary of SSAF Priorities, Grants and Benefits to Students.

Funding allocations

The University takes a formula approach to the allocation of SSAF funds and grants each year, which embodies flexible funding arrangements. This approach provides fixed funds as well as short-term funds to pilot initiatives and/or meet a short-term need. It accommodates both need and demand, allowing for greater flexibility in the delivery of SSAF-funded student services and activities.

This model is centrally governed, managed and administered by Students Portfolio on behalf of the University. It includes:

  • base allocation funding for all services currently approved for SSAF; the amount related to activity/service-based costings (the allocation and funding value reviewed annually via Funding Applications and in line with University budget forecasts and business planning)
  • an allocation for initiatives grants
  • capital allowance for the improvement of student amenities by Students Portfolio
  • funding to support student organisations
  • contingency for unexpected growth in usage and/or emerging needs allocation for services not currently funded by SSAF.

Applications for funding and grants each year are considered alongside feedback from students to ascertain allocation priorities. Feedback is provided through:

  • data collection
  • engagement and consultation
  • feedback from the University community.
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Funds contribute to our non-academic support services.

Feedback & questions

SSAF. We gather feedback through a range of channels and in any year this may include focus groups, surveys, consultative forums, via our Student Leadership Council, online feedback, social media, meetings with student representatives and our students as staff program.
 
We want to know how you want to see your SSAF allocated. You are welcome to provide feedback online or in person.