What is SSAF?

The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is a compulsory annual fee paid by all higher education students in Australia to their institution, and used to fund services and amenities that directly benefit students. You can learn more about how GSA uses your SSAF to fund our activities and facilities here.

I’ve submitted my PhD. Where can I get my balloon?

Congratulations! Head over to Stop 1 during opening hours and they’ll help you celebrate. You can take a photo and be part of the Thesis Submission Gallery from the Grad Research Hub.

Please be aware that balloons are being phased out for environmental reasons – they are unfortunately a harmful pollutant and they frequently endanger wildlife. Luckily, there are fun and sustainable alternative ways to celebrate!

I’ve been accused of committing plagiarism. What do I do?

As the independent voice for graduate students, GSA engages with University policy regarding misconduct; however, only the UMSU Advocacy Service is permitted to advise on matters relevant to individual students.

If you receive a notice of an allegation of misconduct, you should contact the Advocacy Service for support and assistance with responding to the matter. The Advocacy Service runs a drop-in clinic 2–4pm Monday to Thursday on Level 4 Union House at the Parkville campus. Alternatively, you can contact them online.

How do I dispute a grade?

Firstly, it is important to distinguish between an assessment dispute and a special consideration matter (see below for more information). If you are unhappy with your results, your first point of call should be to contact the subject coordinator, and discuss your grade with them.

If after this meeting you want to dispute your grade, you will need to write to the Head of Department and explain why you believe your grade was incorrect. The Head of Department will then determine whether the original mark should be confirmed or adjusted. If you are unhappy with this decision, you can appeal on procedural matters only (i.e. not an academic judgement) to the Academic Registrar. You should speak to UMSU Advocacy to get advice and support with this process.

How do I get a replacement student ID card?

In most instances, you can arrange your replacement student ID card via CaptureME. If your card is faulty (e.g. worn away or cannot be read by card readers) you will need to present it to Stop 1. If your student ID has been lost, damaged because of misuse, or stolen (without a police report) there will be a $50 replacement fee.

If your card has been lost or stolen, you must immediately contact the library to suspend the borrowing access of your card and call security on 03 8344 4674 to cancel card access to buildings and labs.

If you have lost your student ID and need to sit an exam, you need to bring a hardcopy of your statement of enrolment and an acceptable alternative photo ID with you to the exam.

How do I find out if I am eligible for financial assistance?

While all undergraduate courses at the University of Melbourne are approved for Centrelink study payments, only some master’s courses have been approved for Youth Allowance and Austudy payments.

Domestic students on a low income may also be eligible to receive a Health Care Card from the Victorian state government, which would allow them to access concessions on a range of health care services and medicines.

You can also book an appointment with Student Support Financial Aid to discuss options for student loads, advice, housing assistance grants and welfare support.

Am I eligible for public transport concessions?

In Victoria, postgraduate and part-time students are not eligible for public transport concessions. If you are a domestic student and on a low income, you may be eligible for a Health Care Card, which would entitle you to concessions on public transport.

Visit the PTV website for more information about student travel concessions. And join the Fares Fair PTV campaign and help us change this unfair system!

What is special consideration?

Special consideration is an adjustment made to your study plan to allow for exceptional or extenuating circumstances. There are two types of Special Consideration:

  • For unexpected circumstances, where the impact is less than six weeks (e.g. sudden illness of bereavement)
  • Ongoing support, where the impact is six weeks or more (e.g. a chronic or permanent health condition)

A request for special consideration due to unexpected circumstances should be submitted as soon as possible. All students have the right to apply throughout the duration of the studies, but it is important to note that not everybody who applies for special consideration will receive it.

What’s the deal with supplementary exams?

A supplementary assessment is an outcome of special consideration, and typically only offered if there is doubt as to whether you satisfied the assessment requirements.

If you have been offered a supplementary assessment, you will be notified by email of your special consideration application outcome, and an ‘S’ grade will be applied to your subject as an interim result. You can then decide whether to sit the exam, or decline and accept your original mark. It is important to note that the mark from the supplementary exam will replace the first mark, and will be marked on a pass/fail basis only.

I’m lost. How can I find my way around Parkville campus?

Download ‘Lost on Campus’ from the app store, and never lose your bearings again! You can also download a self-guided walking tour map here.

Alternatively, every Monday and Friday at 10am, free guided tours of campus depart from Gate 10 near the Grattan Street Visitor Centre.

Why do you charge for your events if we pay SSAF?

Most of GSA’s activities and facilities are free for graduate students, but we do charge for some events. Our reason for that is straightforward: we want to use our SSAF funding responsibly, and provide as broad a range of activities, events and facilities as we can. So for some events we cover the majority of the cost, and ask participants to chip in for the rest.

How do I get 24/7 access to the 1888 building?

All graduate students at the University of Melbourne should automatically have 24/7 access to the 1888 Building set up on their student card.

If your card is not working, visit the University’s Building Access FAQ and submit a request for access (requires login).

Do I have to be a graduate student to come to GSA’s events?

As the peak representative body for graduate students, GSA’s exists to serve the needs of graduate students. As such, all of our events and programs are specifically for graduate students.

Do I have to become a member?

All enrolled graduate students at the University of Melbourne are automatically entitled to GSA’s events, services and support.

We strongly recommend following us on social media and subscribing for updates!

Where can I go for mental health and wellbeing support?

According to a study by Headspace and the National Union of Students, 83% of tertiary students in Australia are stressed. As a student, getting help when you’re struggling can be especially challenging, particularly as counselling and psychological services can often prove expensive and time-consuming.

We’ve compiled a list of free resources, both on and off campus, for graduate students struggling with mental health and wellbeing.

Where can I go for academic support?

The Academic Skills Hub on the LMS will give you access to independent study modules that have interactive activities and quizzes to test your understanding. You can also book a one-on-one appointment with an academic skills adviser, or attend the various workshops on offer throughout the year.

Who can I contact if I’m having issues with my supervisor or faculty?

If you’re having issues with your supervisor, your first point of call should be to talk to the Chair of your advisory committee. The next point of escalation would be to approach the Head of Department, and following this, the Head of School.

UMSU Advocacy provides support and advice for all students in relation to grievances with the University. You could also contact the graduate research administrator in your faculty.

Stop 1 also has a dedicated graduate research team. The best way to contact them is to call 13 MELB and follow the prompts for graduate researchers. You can also chat online with an adviser until 7pm (the phone service is only available until 5pm Monday, Thursday and Friday and 6pm Tuesday and Wednesday) here.