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Student amenities fee to improve Newcastle uni services

THE University of Newcastle is to undertake a massive expansion of student services on campus with revenue generated from the federal government’s student amenities fee.
Nanjing Night Net

The university has released details of how it plans to spend $2.5 million it will collect from the newly introduced Students Services and Amenities Fee.

The deadline elapsed last month for Newcastle students to pay the $263 annual fee, which is $132 a semester for full-time students.

The fee replaces revenue lost with the abolition of compulsory student unionism and can be spent on activities from sports to food services.

Students can defer payment with their tuition fees.

Students indicated in online forums they would like toilets on campus improved, in particular the “stench” around Hunter building amenities.

Other priorities were more parking, public transport routes and lockers.

Newcastle University Students Association president Heather Richards said the toilets on campus were “a bit gross, especially in the Hunter building”.

The student union will use its funds for a building upgrade, a bra fitting session, alcohol and sexual health booklets and free food event at the city campus.

To determine how to spend funds the university reviewed more than 4000 student surveys and read more than 400 Facebook comments as part of an online campaign.

The university will use $1.6 million on existing services and $900,000 on extra services.

It will upgrade the union building and prayer rooms, develop online student services, water stations, fund clubs and societies, study skills support sessions as well as off-campus accommodation advice and legal services.

A university spokeswoman said there had been upgrades to some bathrooms in the Hunter building among many around campus.

“The bathroom amenities meet high standards of cleanliness,” she said.

Among the innovations on campus are self-service kitchens called “survival stations”.

Open Foundation student Kirraly Mead said they were a good idea “as long as it’s clean all the time”.

University of Newcastle