Fees-Free Study

The government is introducing a fees-free tertiary education policy. This means that studying with us for the first year will be fees-free for eligible first time tertiary students. The advice from the Tertiary Education Commission is to continue with the usual enrolment processes. To find out more take a look at the official fees-free website.

Fees-Free Tertiary Study Policy FAQs

What is the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF)?

The Compulsory Student Services fee (CSSF) is a levy included in the indicative tuition fee. It is displayed as "Student Services Fee" on your invoice.

Please note, the CSSF is not a student union fee. Unitec does not have a student union or student association.

These fees contribute* to the provision the following student services at Unitec:

Advocacy and legal advice

Student Advocates
Student Voice: Student Council and Representation; 
Student Complaints Resolution

Careers information, advice and guidance

Student Careers Centre

Counselling services

Counselling Service; Multi-faith Chaplaincy; Student Support Advisers, Pastoral support through Maia Maori Centre and Pacific Centre

Employment information

Student Job Search

Financial support and advice

Student Hardship Support
Budgeting Advice

Health services

Student Health Service

Media

Student Communications and Student Media

Childcare services

Unitec Early Learning Centre

Clubs and societies

Sports and Clubs activities; Student initiated events (Student Council)

Sports, recreation and cultural activities

Student Engagement events e.g Orientation Powhiri; International Food Days, Cultural Festival, Sports and Recreation events and activities during Orientation and throughout the year


Information about these services is available at Unitec - Current Students.

* Note: each year the funding from CSSF is supplemented by additional funding by Unitec. For example, CSSF Revenue in 2016 was projected to be $2,268,840 while expenditure on relevant services as noted above was forecast to be $3,812,091 – 40% more than revenue from CSSF.

How much is the CSSF?

Unitec’s study programmes are made up of individual courses, and tuition fees are calculated based on the courses you take. The advertised fee is an estimate based on a typical programme and includes the CSSF, so the amount you actually pay may be different depending on which courses you choose.

At Unitec the CSSF for 2018 will be charged at NZ$ 2.75 per credit. For a programme of study made up of 120 credits, the Student Services fee would be approximately NZ$330.

Find out more about the different types of qualification, how long they usually take, and how many courses make up a programme on the Tertiary Qualifications Explained page.

What is the decision making process and timeline for reviewing the CSSF?

The CSFF is reviewed each year and a report provided to the Student Council to show the ways in which the services funded by the fees have contributed to student outcomes particularly success and retention. In determining the proposed CSFF for each year Unitec considers:

  • The value and impact of the services for students and their achievement.
  • Student feedback about the services from a range of surveys conducted across each year and from feedback to individual service teams.

This information is provided to the Student Council so that they can consult with student representatives and the wider student body to provide feedback on the level of the fees proposed, their priorities for service provision and feedback on how the services should be provided and procured (i.e. who they should be delivered by). Once this feedback is received and considered the fee is then set for the next year. The Student Council will invite students to provide feedback on the CSSF in August of each year.  This will support a review, and potential reset, of the CSSF.  A recommendation paper will be submitted jointly from Student Success and the Student Council to Unitec Council in September.

The rationale for the 4% increase in 2018 includes:

  • Contributing to addressing the rising costs of service provision and costs of service transformation since 2015, which will be reflected in improvements in the quality of service provision;
  • In 2017 the new Student Experience Group will move into the newly developed Te Puna so student services will be more accessible through co-location and connection with other services such as the Library Learning Commons and Academic Success Services
  • Concern about the impact on students already facing financial hardship will be balanced by a focus for these fees on services to proactively enhance student financial literacy and to prevent and respond to financial hardship including better access to affordable Student Wellness Services

A further priority for 2018 will be the engagement of students in shaping the design and delivery of the services.

Have your say

At any time students are welcome and encouraged to provide feedback to service teams if they have concerns, or ideas about how the services might be improved. As part of the changes in Student Services we are designing more accessible and effective ways for students to engage with services including in providing feedback about their quality and accessibility, and being involved in their design and delivery.

For more information or to provide feedback please contact the Student President.