Planning for International Student Housing in Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand
How to provide appropriate and affordable housing for the growing number of tertiary students is one of the biggest challenges facing universities and city planners. The expansion of higher education, and rising student numbers, has outstripped the availability of university owned accommodation, with the majority of students having no choice but to live in the private rental sector. A reliance on the rental marker is a concern as students are particularly vulnerable to changes in the housing market, due to their limited budgets. Student rental accommodation is often regarded as disproportionately in poor condition having impacts on students health, wellbeing and quality of life. International students are believed to be the most a risk due to their limited knowledge of the private rental market within their host country, public policy, cultural differences, racial discrimination and the inability for universities to regulate private housing providers. According to media reports, international students in Auckland are resorting to a number of different coping strategies to decrease the cost of accommodation. Sharing rooms, hot bedding (a practice where multiple tenants share a bed in shifts) or even the exchange of sex-for-rent are some of the extremes in headlines. In response to the media and literature the aim of this research is to explore international students accommodation experiences in New Zealand. In particular, the study aims to argue through a comparative study that the home environment is fundamental to international students quality of life and overall study experience in New Zealand and, therefore more attention needs to be given to student accommodation within planning. A comparative case study of the University of Auckland and the University of Otago in Dunedin was undertaken to address this aim. This research established that some international students are experiencing substandard housing conditions that may have a negative impact on their health, wellbeing and quality of life. This research also found that the accommodation experiences of international students was largely context dependent. In Auckland, international students are faced with growing house prices and limited availability whereas in Dunedin there are more supply and house prices remain relatively static. In Dunedin, the condition of the houses, however, are low due to Dunedin's older housing stock. It is recommended that there is a need for both Councils and Universities to introduce policy that is directed at student housing in order to meet the specific needs of students.
Advisor: Ergler, Christina
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Planning; Students; International
Research Type: Thesis