Course and program costing, price setting and approval procedure

Intent and objectives

The setting of fees for University programs and services is a necessary part of managing the financial resources of RMIT. This procedure outlines the steps for the costing, price setting and approval of fees for programs and services across RMIT University.

Scope

University Wide

Exclusions

Nil, unless specifically approved by the RMIT Council.

Procedure steps and actions

Procedure

Responsibility

Timeline

Course and program costing

RMIT University shall set and charge fees to students in accordance with the requirements of the appropriate Commonwealth and State legislation and other regulations applicable to the University.

Fees shall not be charged to students unless approved by the RMIT Council or approved delegated authority.

The responsibility to manage the approval of fees and charges for University courses, programs and services has been delegated jointly to the Pro Vice-Chancellors:

  • Finance & Business Services (FABS) and
  • International Enterprise and Community Development (IECD).

RMIT Council

RMIT Council

PVC IECD and

PVC FABS

Ongoing

The principles contained in this procedure shall be consistent with the RMIT Program Development & Design Guidelines (Yellow Book).

The RMIT process for program development and renewal requires that the pricing of programs be considered and included within a Strategic & Business Case submission prior to formal approval (the submission is based on projected profile and utilises viability indicator measures for assessment)

Associate Director Business Advisory

Ongoing

Basis for setting fees

RMIT will target fee levels to achieve the following:

  • To recover costs incurred (both direct and indirect).
  • To ensure parity between the fees for domestic fee paying undergraduate programs and International onshore undergraduate programs (Council Regulation – 1997).
  • A market competitive basis is applied.
  • To ensure consistency in approach across all programs and services.
  • Ensure fees are in line with the strategic objectives of the University.
  • Ensure fees of programs within the same discipline are in alignment (unless market forces dictate otherwise).

PVC Academic, Head of Schools, Associate Director Business Advisory

Ongoing

Types of fees

The main types of fees levied for programs and services at RMIT are:

  • Tuition fees
  • Course material fees & charges
  • Administrative fees
  • Compulsory non-academic fees

Associate Director Business Advisory

As required

In addition to the above fee types, there are various other classifications or categories of fees that impact on the pricing basis applied, including:

  • Academic Career e.g. under-graduate, post-graduate, TAFE, etc.
  • Fund source (e.g. Full fee paying local and overseas students, HECS students, etc.).
  • Plan Type (external / internal delivery).
  • Campus.

Refer to the RMIT documents, ‘Guidelines for Setting Fees – Costing and Pricing’ and ‘Impact of Enrolment on Revenue’ for more detailed information on the fee setting process and student fee categories.

Associate Director Business Advisory

As required

Setting and approving fee levels

The pricing of all fees to be charged by the University on approved programs or services must comply with the following methodology:

1. RMIT Portfolios determine and propose fees to be charged (on templates provided by FSG for proposal of new and existing program fees).

2. Financial Services must review, assess and endorse all proposed fee levels.

3. Pro Vice-Chancellors FABS & IECD approve fees.

4. Financial Services communicate all approved fees to the AMS.

5. Charge-out basis – Approved fees are subsequently charged out on an appropriate per unit basis e.g. Higher Education – standard rate per credit point, TAFE – legislated rate per subject/student contact hour. Refer to the Financial Services ‘Guidelines for Setting Fees – Costing and Pricing’ for more detailed information.

Coordinated by the Associate Director Business Advisory

PVC Academic, HOS.

FSG

PVC IECD, PVC FABS.

PVC Academic, HOS.

Annually or as required

RMIT Portfolios and Schools must address the following in the determination of proposed fee levels:

  • Financial evaluation – comparison of revenue and costs (including direct and indirect costs), based on projected profile estimates, breakeven analysis, viability indicators, etc. This applies to both new and existing programs. Refer FSG costing model managed by the Business Advisory group and the Yellow Book.
  • Domestic higher education program fees are priced above the current year’s maximum ‘Student Contribution Amount’ for that program.
  • Program fees for higher education international onshore students are priced above the minimum indicative fee (as specified by DEST). This includes international students who may be residing overseas and studying externally in a program delivered through an RMIT Australian campus.
  • Marketing comparison – consider fee levels charged for comparable programs and services. Consult with RMIT International where appropriate for overseas-based student program fees.
  • Fees for programs within the same discipline are in alignment (unless market forces dictate otherwise).
  • Reasonableness – provide supporting documentation that justifies proposed levels
  • Linkage to RMIT plans and forecasts e.g. student profile plan. Refer to Planning Group processes.

Proposed fees must then be forwarded to the Associate Director, Business Advisory for review and assessment in all cases.

RMIT Academic, HOS

Annually or as new courses and programs are identified

All program tuition fees commencing 1st January 2004 shall not be fixed for any specified period longer than one year and shall be subject to annual revision. This will ensure that all students within a program pay the same fee for that program during that particular year.

PVC Academic,

HOS.

Ongoing

Compulsory non-academic charges (e.g. SSAF and CNAF) must be levied and advertised separately from other fees.

PVC Academic,

HOS, Student Union.

Ongoing

A reduction in fees from the approved price book can be facilitated by ‘Partial Scholarships’; these are allowable in specified circumstances, and must be approved by the Director of Student services and appropriate Pro Vice-Chancellor (See attached form – ‘Partial Scholarship Form’);

Discounts or fee waivers must not be applied to a student’s contribution amount or tuition fees.

Refer to the RMIT ‘Guidelines for Setting Fees - Costing and Pricing’ document produced by Financial Services and the annual ‘Approved Schedule of Fees and Charges’ for more detailed information.

PVC Academic,

HOS.

Ongoing

Finance staff within RMIT Portfolios and Schools must forward invoices raised against offshore organisations to cover DEST reporting requirements and taxation compliance obligations.

PVC Academic, HOS, Finance staff within each Portfolio and school.

Ongoing

The Associate Director, Business Advisory shall be responsible for administering the fee setting process for programs and services across the University. An annual timetable and supporting guidance notes shall be issued and communicated to the appropriate University Staff to manage the setting and approval of all RMIT fees.

Associate Director Business Advisory

Ongoing

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