Higher Education material fee guidelines
Intent and objectives
Extract from:‘ Administrative information for higher education providers’
Issued by: Funding and Student Support Branch, Higher Education Group, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
Version: Last updated – May 2008
NB: A DEEWR ‘Course of Study’ = a RMIT Program
Fees for goods and services incidental to studies
Commonwealth supported students and domestic fee-paying students generally must be able to complete the requirements of their course of study without the imposition of fees that are additional to student contribution amounts or tuition fees.
Certain incidental fees are allowed. The criteria for deciding if a fee is incidental are set out in chapter 8 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines [see Appendix A] and HESA -s19-102(3) (f) and are described in section 20.2 and section 20.3. Bonds and deposits, whether refundable or not, are not allowed under these guidelines on the basis that HELP ensures that there are no financial barriers for entry to higher education for those students unable to pay upfront for the cost of their tuition.
Circumstances in which providers may levy fees
In accordance with chapter 8 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines, RMIT may charge a student for a good or service related to the provision of their course if one of the following criteria applies:
A. The fee is for a good or service that is not essential to the course of study.
- access to internet and computer facilities (except where these are required as part of a course);
- printing of notes from the internet or disks; and
- graduation ceremonies in cases where students are not required to attend the ceremony in order to obtain their award
B. The fee is a charge for an alternative form or alternative forms of access to a good or service that is an essential component of a course of study, but is otherwise made readily available at no additional charge by the provider.
- lecture notes or tapes, provided that lectures are made readily available to students free of charge;
- electronic provision of essential information if the information is also made readily available free of charge in another form (e.g. in the university library); and
- reading material, such as anthologies of required readings, provided that these texts are also available free of charge.
C. The fee is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than RMIT and is for:
- equipment or items that become the physical property of the student and that are not consumed during the course of study; or
- artwork supplies;
- fabric for sewing class;
- musical instruments;
- protective clothing or footwear;
- dance shoes; and
- reference texts
- food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips that form part of the course of study.
D. The fee is a fine or penalty, provided it is imposed principally as a disincentive and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs.
- fines or penalties for late enrolments, late variations to enrolments, late withdrawals from a course, and late payment of charges, student contribution amounts and tuition fees;
- review of grade if a student has already passed the subject but is seeking to improve their grade; and
- a charge for an assessment of prior learning in circumstances where a person has not applied for entry to the provide
Circumstances in which RMIT must not levy fees
RMIT must not charge students for a good or service which is required for a course of study unless that good or service, or an alternative to it, is also available to students at no additional charge.
- course materials, such as:
- subject outlines;
- reading lists;
- tutorial or seminar topics and problems;
- assignment and essay questions; and
- requirements and guidelines for the presentation of work;
- access to library books, periodicals and manuals;
- clinic, laboratory or workshop materials such as anaesthetics, chemicals, filters, fuel, fertilisers, animal feed or crops used in practical sessions or research;
- access to computers or other online resources;
- recognition of prior learning if the student is enrolled with the provider or the student is applying for enrolment;;
- equipment and manuals which a professional in the field would not be required to own, such as:
- fixtures in a clinic, laboratory or workshop; or
- large items of equipment and relevant workshop manuals required for their use;
- admissions services including application fees (except special admissions tests, see 20.4);
- examinations or assessments, including practical assessment, for example, which requires the services of musical accompanists;
- reassessment of results where a student has failed an assessment and thereby failed a subject or unit; and
- mailing charges associated with distance education; and
- course notes provided as part of distance education