The Federal Government has reintroduced student amenities fees with the passing of the Higher Education Support Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill recently. These fees were scrapped under the Howard government in 2005.
With the fees now reintroduced the student services and amenities fee will provide universities with more than $250 million over four years.
Under the new legislation universities can now charge up to $263 per student for support services.
Some of these services include sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, child care, financial advice, counselling and food services.
Payment of the fees can now be deferred through the HECS system. Universities will also be required to be transparent and consult with students on how they plan to use the services and amenities fees.
The bill allows some discretion to set the fee at different levels. Universities are expected to take into account students who are studying part-time or via distance education with fees expected to be set proportionately.