THE University of Canberra’s new student accommodation scheme promises to bring peace of mind for international students in search of a home in their new country. Jordan Thompson reports.
The University of Canberra has announced guaranteed accommodation for international students in 2014. New and continuing international students, as well as first year domestic students, will be eligible for the guaranteed accommodation.
Out of the 2448 beds available on campus at UC, 1120 will be reserved for the Accommodation Guarantee Scheme. However, the university will be monitoring the number of applicants and could potentially increase the number of rooms available. Prices will start at $141 a week for a single room.
To be eligible for the reserved accommodation, students must:
- Be a new or continuing international student or first year domestic student
- Commence study or re-enrol by September 1, 2014.
- Undertake their course of study at the Bruce campus in Canberra.
We hope this provides peace of mind for the students and their parents and families by relieving the stress they can face in trying to find accommodation.”
University of Canberra College students and those enrolled in the University’s English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) are also eligible for guaranteed accommodation.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker says that as well as assisting international students, the scheme will reduce pressures on rent prices in Canberra’s housing market, where students would regularly compete with families and those who have moved to the ACT for work.
He also made note of how the accommodation scheme will benefit the families of international students.
“We hope this provides peace of mind for the students and their parents and families by relieving the stress they can face in trying to find accommodation,” Professor Parker said.
The provision of reliable accommodation for international students gives UC a great advantage over other student accommodation providers on the market today.
The Accommodation Guarantee Scheme not only provides a space for students, but also guarantees quality living conditions. Examples of the rooms will be available to view online so that families of students know what conditions the student will be living in.
International student accommodation has a stigma of being unreliable and bad experiences can greatly influence a students view of Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) noted in their International Student Strategy for Australia 2010-2014, that “secure accommodation is one of the mechanisms that supports a sense of wellbeing for international students, and helps international students to have a high-quality experience during their time living and studying in Australia.”
The conditions, cost and living pressures of international student accommodation was one of the issues raised by the International Student Roundtable in August 2011, which concluded in a proposal to increase affordable accommodation for international students.
The guaranteed accommodation is to be provided by Campus Living Villages, Arscott House and Uni Lodge – including Weeden Lodge and the new Cooper Lodge (to be completed by 2014). All projects are funded by the Commonwealth’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and the ACT government.