Globalization and improved access to information has opened up opportunities for more personal mobility and worldwide interconnectedness. Annually, millions of students (both domestic and foreign) leave their homes in pursuit of a higher education, and among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, student mobility has grown to over 50 percent in the last decade.
A greater influx of students into tertiary institutions suggests a need to provide housing for them, especially for those students coming from outside the region where the university is located, for example, from interstate or overseas. However, amid fluctuating economic conditions and budgetary constraints, universities direct their expenditures toward their core competence of teaching and research leaving the private sector, in the main, to cater to student housing needs. While current economic realities make it logical for universities to move away from providing students with accommodation, studies over the years show the benefits of university provided housing (UPH) both for students and the institution.
Against the backdrop of an increasing student population in Australia and reduced access to public funds by universities, this study assesses the current number of bed spaces provided in 30 Australian universities. Findings from the study show a low number of UPH bed spaces; the authors proffer solutions for universities to circumvent their economic realities while providing students with a suitable place to live.
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