Student Group Funding:

Student groups, clubs and societies are an integral component of university life that aims to support students by connecting them with other like minded students and facilitating meaningful interactions that affect happiness, satisfaction and mental health. To start and run a club typically requires some level of financial support, the majority of that being typically received by the university or student led bodies in the form of a % of tuition fees paid by domestic and international students studying at the university. We surveyed almost 2,500 clubs and found that, apart from revenue from membership and ticketing sales, only 9% of student groups don’t depend exclusively on university funding to operate. This exposes a practical roadmap for the 91% who can learn to explore other forms of funding, especially in the wake of COVID.


The Big COVID Impact:

In the wake of the covid pandemic, amongst other sectors, the tertiary education sector was hit quite hard with many international students unable to study on campus and terminating their studies, and others continuing their studies from their home countries. This had a severe impact on the level of student funding available, especially in Australia where SSAF funding was slashed by almost 57% at most major campuses.

What is SSAF Funding? 💡
SSAF is the Student Services and Amenities Fee, which funds a range of wellbeing support services for all students, online or on campus. These services support students’ physical, personal, cultural, educational and financial wellbeing. They range from clubs, sporting and social events, to employment assistance and study support, medical and mental health services, counselling, advocacy and legal assistance. The fee is paid by students as part of their course fees.


Internally at QPay, we saw a massive overall reduction in the number of physical events due to cancellations, insufficient funding for student groups and the prevalence of online events, resulting from the various government lockdowns and social distance guidelines. The impact on student events was felt till late 2021 with an estimated 2,304 event cancellations throughout 2020 – 2021 (We processed a ton of ticket refunds!). On the bright side, with the explosion of Zoom and video streaming services such as Netflix, there was a large influx of online events as more and more students were feeling the effects of isolation and wanted more than ever to connect to their peers. This was a great low cost option for club execs to keep their club active and their members engaged throughout the lockdown(s).


Alternative for student executives:

With the effects of a major worldwide epidemic still reeling, club/society/union executives don’t necessarily have to rely solely on university funding to run/host great events, considering that the university sector will take time to recover economically and return back to a pre-covid normal status.

Many businesses and corporations fight tooth and nail to bring their product and service to students, with many utilising social media channels and allocating big ad budgets. While this may be effective, social media is already a crowded marketplace and your student group can take advantage of this!

  • Gaining sponsorship for your student group is an effective method to eliminate any nagging money problems thats gets in the way of running your organisation – businesses get constant exposure to your members for a predetermined fee. A lot of student unions and clubs already do this by offering various sponsorship packages to vendors at the start of the academic year – check out the BANA club from the University of Queensland collecting sponsorship funds with QPay:


  • Supercharge and monetize your memberships by attaching deals/offers from your local businesses. The deals and offers being advertised to your student group members translates to a guaranteed target audience for the business, value for your members and a revenue stream for your team. As part of setting up your student membership on QPay, you receive access and the capability to add unlimited deals/offers to your membership, making it easier than ever for members to see and use any of your deals. Check out how some other clubs/societies do this, including the UQ/QUT/Griffith Law societies