The JCU Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding recently approved expenditure of approximately $3,678,693 of student fees through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Download the 2018 SSAF Expenditure Plan (PDF, 205 KB).
Below are some examples of how your Student Services and Amenities Fee has been used.
Student Representation and Advocacy
This SSAF allocation contributes specifically to the provision of advocacy services for students on a broad range of academic and welfare matters and also provides 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.
Student Health and Wellbeing
- In 2017, Mental Health First Aid training was delivered to 135 students in key leadership positions in Cairns and Townsville including PASS Leaders, Residential Assistants and JCU Student Association. The course teaches students how to assist a fellow student who is developing mental health problems or experiencing a mental health crisis.
- The JCU Student Association ran a "Healthy Life on Campus" program in 2017 on both Townsville and Cairns campuses. The program provided a range of activities including free healthy eating, exercise classes and provided a discount to students signing up for the JCU Fitness Centre.
- An annual SSAF allocation has allowed JCU Health to continue to offer the bulk billing rate to students on the Townsville Campus. In 2017, JCU Health reported 15,203 student consult visits.
The 2017 SSAF Expenditure Plan included funding for "Intellectual Debate targeted at Post Graduate and Mature Students". Two events were held in 2017 i.e. "Intellectual Forum Scientists as Politicians" and "Sexual violence in the context of domestic and family violence". Feedback from participants at both events was overwhelmingly positive.
Student Support Staff
JCU is committed to enhancing students’ 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.
The 2018 SSAF allocation continues to include funding for key support service personnel such as Student Welfare Officers, Academic Language and Learning Advisors, and a Career Development Learning Officer to support those studying on campus, in remote study centres and externally.
SSAF Support for Student Life Events for Commencing Students
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 Life Team host a comprehensive JCU Orientation and Transition Program on the Townsville and Cairns Campus through a five-week schedule of preparatory courses, inductions, information sessions, course introductions, social events, drop-in sessions, special interest group activities and pre-census retention activities.
- After positive student feedback during 2017, the Student Services Directorate were again successful in their bid to utilise SSAF funds to employ Enrolment Help Roamers and Concierge staff to assist in providing information and assistance to students during Orientation.
Library - Infohelp Rovers
This program has again been SSAF funded in 2018. Infohelp Rovers can help you to develop study skills and guide you through a range of services; for example, LibGuides and search skills, helping with IT issues, basic software support, connecting to the JCU Eduroam wireless network, printing and photocopying issues, use of online JCU services such as LearnJCU and finding information on the JCU website, helping with referencing and the like. In 2017, Library Infohelp Rovers (PDF, 875 KB) dealt with over 3,823 individual enquiries.
In 2013, the University developed a Pedagogical Space Plan that identified the types of spaces required to deliver on its objectives of contemporary, mixed mode learning and teaching. In 2014, the first student-friendly spaces delivered through SSAF funding were the Peer-to-Peer space on the ground floor of Building 034 for Earth Sciences and the Social Learning Space on the ground floor of Building 004 – Social Sciences. These spaces were completed in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In 2015, a SSAF allocation was made to develop the Outdoor Social Learning Space in the under-croft of Building 025 – Nursing. This project was completed in early 2016. Further design has been undertaken for a peer-to-peer and collaborative learning space on the ground floor of Building 025 to complement the Outdoor space. This project is due for completion in early 2018.
A SSAF allocation was also made in 2015 towards the design of peer-to-peer and collaborative learning spaces on the ground floor of the Cairns Library. This project has now been fully funded by 2016 SSAF and is due for completion in 2018.
After approval of a competitive bid process in 2017, the Estate Directorate is coordinating minor works of the informal peer spaces in Building 27 on the Townsville Campus and in the foyers of buildings A1 and A2 on the Cairns Campus. These projects are anticipated to be completed in early 2018.
In 2017, SSAF funding also contributed to the establishment of the Indigenous Education and Research Centre on the Cairns Campus. The Centre provides a place of belonging and brings together research, teaching and support staff who were previously located around the campus. It provides space for students to study, collaborate and socialise.
After-hours student study assistance
Need help after hours? Thanks to SSAF funding in 2017 and continuing in 2018, students can access Studiosity (formerly YourTutor), an after-hours online academic assistance service. If you are stuck on a study question or not sure where to start with an assignment you can get help with your essay or report draft in less than 24 hours, or live, foundational assistance with subjects like writing, maths, science, economics and more.
Got a question, need help – just Ask Us!
If you have a question, check out Ask Us – it’s a 24/7 online enquiry database with more than 1,000 commonly asked questions. The system has information on enrolments, support services, academic help, fees, scholarships, social events, calendars, IT support – everything!
Support for Off-Campus Students
SSAF supports services available to Off-Campus students:
- Thanks to SSAF funding, the Student Life Team were able to develop resources for Off-Campus Students including a dedicated website and Off-Campus Information Guide.
- As part of 2017 SSAF allocation, students studying off-campus and living more than 50 kilometres from the JCU Cairns and Townsville campuses were able to receive free return post bags for JCU library books.
Support for HDR Students
In 2017, SSAF funding was used to support research students in delivering supportive group activities such as: seminar days, research student conferences, cohort activities for off campus research candidates, disciplinary-relevant career workshops and social events. This program has been approved to continue into 2018.
Support for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students
In 2017, SSAF funding contributed to a range of activities being delivered or supported by the Indigenous Education and Research Centre including Welcome Events, Awards Night, Health and Wellbeing Program and the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Games
Support for International Students
SSAF funding was also used to introduce an "International Higher Degree by Research Arrival Ambassador Program" to improve the welcome and arrival experience of international HDRs. Unlike undergraduate students, HDR candidates can commence their candidature on any day of the year and often international students are left to their own devices to orientate themselves until they arrange an appointment with their advisor or the International Support Centre. Each of the Colleges, along with the Coral Reef Studies Centre were approached to nominate a HDR International Ambassador to contact commencing students prior to arrival, arrange airport pick up, tours of JCU and delivery to accommodation. Students were also provided a "Welcome Pack" upon arrival. This program has been approved to continue across 2018.
In 2017, the JCU Student Association used SSAF funding to:
- Host the annual International Ball on the Cairns Campus: a popular event and attraction for international students to JCU.
- Hold an International Student Welcome Evening and BBQ: specifically aimed at welcoming international students, delivered by students.
- JCUSA council members were at the airport to assist International Students upon arrival.
SSAF support for students located at Thursday Island, Mackay and Mount Isa
This project continues into 2018 and delivers a series of interactive workshops and activities assisting students with their information needs, the finding and evaluation of information, effective reading, essay planning and writing, and referencing and learning skills.
Student Sporting and Recreational Activities
- 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.
- The on-campus Colleges banded together to hold the annual Inter-Collegiate Cultural Competition and Concert in 2017. The Concert is an alcohol-free event organised by the on-campus Colleges and is always a "sell out" event with over 1,500 residents preparing and presenting items in categories such as dance, musical theatre, choir, instrumental and band.
- 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.
The JCU Student Association held a number of activities during 2017 where free food was provided courtesy of SSAF, particularly during O Week and Exam Periods, on both Townsville and Cairns campuses. Free tea and coffee was provided in kitchenettes on both campuses throughout the academic year.
Interested in forming a SSAF supported Student Club or Society?
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 JCUSA offer 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.