There are strict rules around what QUT can and cannot charge you. Any additional fees charged to you on top of your HECS are called ancillary fees. The only extra fees QUT can charge to students is legislated by the Federal Government.
What can’t QUT charge me for?
Basically, QUT cannot charge you money that you are required to pay to complete your course, because they have already charged you tuition.
They can’t charge you for the following:
- A good or service that is required for a course of study unless that good or service, or an alternative to it, is also available to you at no additional charge; or
- A good or service that is non-routine and immaterial in amount.
- The University cannot charge you for the costs of having a specialist in the field conduct or mark as assessment item. For example, a music expert grade a recital or a business consultant mark a business presentation.
- They also cannot require you to purchase a textbook; it must be available in the library or elsewhere for free.
So what can they charge me for?
The University can charge you for a small range of things:
- A good or service that is not essential to your course of study;
- A good or service that is an essential component of a course but is otherwise made readily available at no additional charge by the University;
- An essential good or service that you have the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than the University and is for:
- Equipment or items which become your physical property and are not consumed during the course of study; and
- Food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips.
What about fines and penalties?
A fine or penalty can be charged provided that the charge is made as a disincentive and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs.
This could be fines or penalties for late enrolments, late variations to enrolments or late withdrawals from a course.
You can be exempt from these late fees if the necessary information that you require from the University in order to complete the form in question is not available before the due date.
What about library fees?
Fees may be imposed if books are returned late, damaged or lost. You will also be charged a compensation fee for cost of repurchasing it, and a reprocessing fee. You won’t be able to borrow again until the matter is sorted out.
If you think it is unfair that you were charged a library fee, you may appeal in writing to the Compliance Officer. You need to show that there were some exceptional circumstances that caused you to get a fee. Hand in your written letter to the library on your campus.
If you don’t like the outcome you can appeal again to the Library Review Officer. Write a letter explaining the original circumstances, and why you think being denied is unfair or unjust.
If you need help with writing your letters, come and see us at the Guild’s Student Rights Hub.
What do I do if I think I am being charged an illegal ancillary fee?
Contact the Guild’s Student Rights Hub for help. We can tell you whether or not the charge is, in fact, illegal.
If we think it is illegal, we will advocate to the University to have the fee abolished, or other arrangements made.