Current Students Fees & Financial Support Brought to you by your SSA Fee

Brought to you by your SSA Fee

In 2024, the Vice Chancellor approved expenditure of $3,706,141 for student fees through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Download the 2024 SSAF Expenditure Plan.

Below are some examples of how your Student Services and Amenities Fee has been used.

In 2023, SSAF fees contributed specifically to the provision of advocacy services for students on a broad range of academic and welfare matters and representation funding for members of the JCU Student Association to sit on various panels and committees, to ensure the student voice is heard in institutional decision making.

The 2023 SSAF allocation enabled JCU Health to continue to offer bulk billing to ensure no out of pocket expenses for students on the Townsville campus.  Over 26,500 student patient appointments were attended and bulk billed during the year.

JCU is committed to enhancing your access, participation and success through a ‘whole-of-institution’ approach to widening participation, learning, teaching and the student experience, including appropriate facilities and access to learning technologies.

SSAF funding is always made available to both the JCU Student Association and to other JCU student groups and bodies for a range of orientation, induction and student belonging events across the academic year. For example:

  • The Student Engagement team run a suite of high quality student-focused events, including Get Ready for Uni, Orientation, Live@Lunch, International Cafe, R U OK Day, Harmony Day and Power Up Day.
  • In Cairns these events are incorporated into the very successful Midweek Mingle.
  • Smaller scale events are also run at the Mackay and Mount Isa Study Centres and online activities are run for external students.
  • These events are aimed at providing a vibrant campus-life experience for students, as well as increasing student success and retention.
  • 75% of students who completed the SP2 2023 Post Event Orientation Student Survey said O Week provided a positive first experience as a JCU student and 70% felt Orientation assisted them in feeling better prepared to commence studies.
  • All student engagement and event initiatives offered complementary food and beverage to students and provided a platform for JCU support services to engage with students, contributing to overall student wellbeing, experience and engagement.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the JCU events page for upcoming student events.

In 2023 undercroft peer spaces at buildings 39 and 46 in Townsville were completed, providing students with safe undercover study areas to rest and engage with friends in between classes in a pleasant setting.  SSAF also funded a 24/7 new computer hub at building 39 including sit stand desks, new monitors, acoustics and ergonomic chairs to support long term study periods. Students were engaged in the design processes for these projects.

Past SSAF-funded projects include the creation of multi-purpose student spaces at Mount Isa and Mackay campuses and furniture upgrades to Townsville and Cairns libraries. SSAF funding also contributed to the establishment of the Indigenous Education and Research Centre (IERC) at the Cairns Campus.

Thanks to SSAF funding, the following support services have been made available to students over the years.

Off-Campus Students

The Student Life Team were able to develop resources for Off-Campus Students including a dedicated website and Off-Campus Information Guide.

HDR Students

SSAF is one of the key funding sources for supporting professional development and social networking for higher degree research (HDR) candidates and delivers supportive group activities, such as seminar days, research student conferences, disciplinary-relevant professional development, social events and peer-to-peer support.

The HDR Ambassador peer-to-peer program at JCU, coordinated by the Graduate Research School and delivered by casual HDR candidates, provides welcome support that aims to make commencing students’ transition to a HDR degree at JCU as smooth as possible.

The benefits of the program to commencing HDR candidates are manifold. Not only does the interaction with an Ambassador assist a commencing candidate with working through any issues specific to commencing a HDR course at JCU, it also provides personal and moral support. The Ambassadors also benefit as the Program offers casual employment opportunities to HDR candidates which enhances their skills in leadership, communication, problem-solving and connection with like-minded potential students.

SSAF funds also provide morning teas, lunches and furnishings in the Cairns Postgrad Centre which is used as both a study and communal space by HDR students, many of whom are international students.  All decisions on SSAF expenditure are made by the students themselves and this project enables HDRs to feel valued and included, and that they have a space to meet and study where they can always have a cuppa, conversation and emergency food as necessary.

Study skills and time spent with advisors at the 2023 Indigenous Education and Research Centre's HDR Forum in Indigenous Topics enabled students to better progress in their studies and develop their self-efficacy in relation to Indigenous research topics.

In 2023, student engagement increased at the College of Healthcare Science's monthly Research Bites lunchtime events.  The CHS Research Day was a greater success than in 2022 with more attendees and engagement across disciplines, and attendees provided excellent feedback. These SSAF-funded monthly and annual activities assist in keeping HDRs actively engaged in the University, leading to successful candidature, and plans are in place to continue to grow the Research Seminar Day into a bigger annual event in 2024.

The College of Arts, Society and Education's 2023 HDR Conference and HDR Writing Retreat supported HDR students from Townsville, Cairns and online to connect, collaborate, share experiences, engage and learn from presenters whilst providing feedback on their own research presentations or writing. The Conference planning committee consisted of four HDR students representing Townsville, Cairns and External.

The College of Science and Engineering organised a number of SSAF-funded events in 2023 focusing on professional development, cultural awareness, stakeholder impact and writing. These were attended by HDR students from various ethnic backgrounds as 50% of the College's students were from overseas.

SSAF funding enabled the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences to build strong HDR student networks and collaboration and provide peer review, support and professional development opportunities via monthly meetings, faculty seminars, special sessions on HDR enhancement grant by the College, and a student-run end of year symposium.

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

SSAF funding contributed to a range of activities being delivered or supported by the Indigenous Education and Research Centre (IERC) in 2023, including Welcome and Orientation events, aiding in financial management, maintaining libraries and reading spaces, providing Orientation resources and fostering skill development outside of formal coursework.

Internal and external students were able to access support from IERC through the programs offered and SSAF funds were also used to purchase healthy snacks, kitchen supplies and study resources.

The activities supported by SSAF built connections between students, staff and community, provided a welcoming and supportive environment for Indigenous students, healthy food choices and a sense of inclusion for external students.

International Students

JCU is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse campus environment. In 2023, SSAF-funded multicultural lunches and end of year morning teas in Cairns and Townsville provided opportunities for international and domestic students to explore and experience diverse cultures, traditions, languages and perspectives via food tastings, games and cultural presentations.

Students located at Mackay and Mount Isa

SSAF funding was used to deliver the 2023 Student Centre Academic Skills Boot Camps at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Murtupuni campus in Mount Isa and JCU Mater Clinical Training Centre campus in Mackay. Delivered by JCU Library staff, the Boot Camps are a great way for students to meet each other and professional and academic staff, and provide friendly, interactive settings where students can learn and share practical study skills and tips such as assignment planning, understanding assessment criteria, time management, critical reading and note-taking, and searching and referencing.

Staff who deliver the Boot Camps always return from the sessions feeling more connected with the students, and student feedback tells us they feel more confident in their abilities to be successful in their studies.  For example:

  • I feel more confident in my abilities to work efficiently on assessment and with the study load
  • the sessions helped me with finding resources
  • it was great to learn about knowing how to manage time effectively and the importance of note taking, time management, note taking skills, essay structure and paragraph structure
  • helpful information that allows detailed preparation for uni life
  • everything about the session was great
  • Maintaining a healthy and active life is made easier and more affordable with support provided through SSAF. Recreational and cultural activities, together with a range of supporting services and amenities, are also provided across campus with this SSAF allocation. Find out more at the JCU Student Association.
  • Sports Facilities on Townsville and Cairns campuses are supported by SSAF through an annual allocation towards field maintenance and improvements, contributions to water rates and for cleaning common area bathrooms in gym and football ovals. This provides ongoing availability of sports facilities which are clean and well maintained.
  • SSAF contributes to the annual Inter-College Music Competition (ICMC), which has been a successful event since 2003 and has become a cherished tradition. Each year, residents living on the Bebegu Yumba Campus (including from JCU Halls of Residence, The John Flynn College and Saints Catholic College), compete in sections for Band, Instrumental, Choir, Dance and Theatre. Students from each College take on the role of Cultural Representative, Group Leader and/or Event Coordinator. The ICMC was held again in SP2 2023 and 486 students attended. The ICMC is a great way to support and encourage artistic activity, it helps foster a sense of community for students living in on-campus accommodation and creates some healthy competition and rivalry across the colleges!

The JCU Student Association held a number of activities during 2022 where free food was provided courtesy of SSAF, particularly during O Week and Exam Periods, on both Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Clubs and societies play an active role in the University community by providing students the opportunity to meet people with common interests and to pursue those interests. The JCU Student Association offers funding from SSAF for financial and administrative support to these organisations and students interested in forming their own.

Contact the JCU Student Association to find out more.

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