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

Brought to you by your SSA Fee

In 2022, the Vice Chancellor approved expenditure of $3,025,253 for student fees through the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Download the 2022 SSAF Expenditure Plan.

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

In 2021, 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.

In 2021, the SSAF-funded Student Wellbeing Counsellor position within the Student Equity and Wellbeing Service increased the University's capacity to provide timely and professional mental health and wellbeing care for students. This role is critical, providing students with support and services to help them remain engaged with, and successfully complete, their studies.

The 2021 SSAF allocation also enabled JCU Health to continue to offer bulk billing to ensure no out of pocket expenses for students on the Townsville campus.

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.

The 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 of you who are studying on campus, in remote study centres and externally.

In 2021, SSAF funds were allocated to two Learning Advisor positions - English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Mathematics and Literacy. Learning Advisors provide timely support and advice to domestic, international, EAL, internal, external, pathways undergraduate and postgraduate students to ensure a positive transition to University and to support academic success. During 2021, they conducted 1494 individual student consultations, providing academic support for student-facing programs and activities including Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and the Peer Advice Desk; self-access online resources (they updated and designed e-resources for students to access through the Learning Centre web page); orientation short courses and workshops (maths refresher, basic statistics, academic writing, keys to success, English for academic purposes and critical reading); and one-on-one consultations with students (face-to-face and online).

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 Transitions and Engagement team run a suite of high quality student-focused events, including Orientation, Live@Lunch, Student Success Week, Harmony Day, Exam Plan, National Student Volunteer Week, RU OK? Day and Power Up Week.
  • 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.
  • In 2021, the team designed and delivered 34 extra-curricular events and provided online resources such as GetReady4Uni and their Online Orientation Program. The website received 24,487 unique visitors and 1,740 students attended Orientation with another 4,620 participating in other events throughout the year.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the JCU events page for upcoming student events.

This program was again SSAF funded in 2021. Library 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 2021, the Infohelp Rovers dealt with 677 individual enquiries, including setting up mobile devices (Wi-Fi, printing), assistance with 3D printing and assistance with student-focussed activities such as Orientation tasks. They helped provide to students a smooth transition into the University’s digital environment and opportunities to build practical digital technology skills that can be used in the workforce with peer support.

In 2021, proposed projects including refurbishments to student spaces in the libraries at Townsville and Cairns campuses and Cairns room A2.001B did not progress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SSAF funding was reallocated for 2022.

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) students and delivers supportive group activities, such as seminar days, research student conferences, cohort activities for off campus research candidates, disciplinary-relevant career workshops and social events.

In June 2022 the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Science (CPHMVS) hosted a dinner in Cairns with 16 Cairns-based CPHMVS HDRs sponsored by the JCU SSAF. It was a relaxing evening for everyone after a week of hard work, with opportunities to connect with other HDRs and A/Professor Zhanming Liang, CPHMVS Associate Dean of Research Education. Connecting with other fellow HDRs and researchers is important to reduce isolation and develop a sense of being part of a supportive academic and research community. Great thanks to Katrina Kaposi, PhD candidate and CPHMVS HDR representative for assisting with organising the event.

The Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Ambassador Program at JCU provides peer-to-peer welcome support that aims to make commencing students’ transition to a HDR degree, to JCU and town (Townsville or Cairns) as smooth as possible. This program is coordinated by the Graduate Research School (GRS) and run by 10 casually employed HDR candidates. The Ambassadors also benefit as the Program offers casual employment opportunities to enhance their skills in leadership, communication, problem-solving and connection with like-minded potential students.

In 2021, COVID-19 restrictions presented challenges, however the HDR Ambassadors adapted the Program for remote candidates, enthusiastically meeting them and sharing their positive university experience. There were 165 new candidates, 57 of whom used the Ambassador service.

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 2021, including Welcome and Orientation events, Health and Wellbeing Program and workshops.

SSAF funds were used to purchase healthy snacks, kitchen supplies, study resources and small items of furniture.

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

The International Student Support Team continued to hold Free Lunch Fridays three times every semester on both Cairns and Townsville campuses in 2021, and additional SSAF funding was allocated to support International students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At each event the Team provided activities (traditional music and dancing, traditional arts and crafts) that encouraged student interaction and thus provided opportunity for students to develop friendships and make connections. Other Student Groups/Associations (Latin America SA, South Asia SA, Indonesian SA, Chinese SA, African Student Group, PNG SA) were engaged to help deliver activities and provide food.

Although attendance was reduced in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, each event attracted approximately 100 students. Student feedback, both verbal and via the International Students Townsville/Cairns Facebook groups, was very positive with many students sharing photos and commentary about their experience.

Students located at Mackay and Mount Isa

SSAF funding was used to deliver the 2022 Student Centre Academic Skills Boot Camps at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Murtupuni campus in Mount Isa (O Week SP1 & SP2) and JCU Mater Clinical Training Centre campus in Mackay (Week 1, SP1 & SP2). 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.

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 was held in SP2 2022. 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. The ICMC is a great way to support and encourage artistic activity, and this year approximately 300 students participated, with many more supporting the event on the day. The ICMC 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 2021 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.

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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