Changes to student accommodation

The University is making a number of changes to residential communities from 2015.

The opportunity to live on campus is a valued aspect of the student experience, and one in which the University needs to balance the needs of all students.

There is strong demand for on campus accommodation, so the University has to take a strategic approach to the planning of the future development of the residential communities.

Fee increases

Residential accommodation tariff will increase in 2016 by two and a half percent for ANU accommodation. This means that accommodation in an ANU residences will range between $211.85 per week and $369.25 (based on room type), still remaining significantly cheaper than comparable universities.

The rise is needed to cover the increasing costs of maintaining the facilities and safety of the ANU owned and operated Residences, many of which are aging and require significant maintenance.

Fee assistance

The University is conscious of ensuring that living costs are minimized as a barrier to accessing an ANU education. Residential fees at ANU remain lower than those at almost all residences in other universities.

The University provides financial support to students in need of financial assistance through a range of accommodation bursaries and equity scholarships.

Selection process

The University is committed to ensuring that the diversity and talents of all ANU students are a hallmark of all of our residential communities. At the moment, low socio economic status (SES) students account for only one percent of our residents, in some residences only five percent of residents are international students, and others have very few students from government schools.

We want to change that to create a culture of diversity in our residential communities so will be introducing a centralised allocation system to ensure we can create a culture that recognises that all students that come to ANU, regardless of their background, deserve the same opportunity to get into the residence of their choice.

The first year undergraduate guarantee reflects the University's commitment to equity and transparency and will apply to these applicants:

  • Indigenous students
  • Students with a disability
  • Tuckwell Scholars
  • Exchange students
  • 1st year domestic undergraduate students
  • 1st year international undergraduate students
  • ANU Medical School students
  • ANU College Foundation Program (standard program)

Returning students

The University is seeking to free up some additional residential places for first year students. ANU currently has a highest return rate of students to residential accommodation past their first year. Current closing dates and allocations weigh against first year students who do not have their secondary results or who underestimate their secondary results. In 2013 the balance of beds favoured returning undergraduates (72 percent) over the new intake (28 percent). For 2015, the balance of beds shifted slightly to be returners (67 percent) and new intake (33 percent). The balance for 2016 will be returners (64 percent) and new intake (36 percent). For 2017 the returners rate will be no more than 64 percent.

To manage this shift the following actions will be put in place.

  • Run workshops for later year students on renting a share house.
  • Explore a mechanism for students leaving residences to maintain an affiliation with that residence community.
  • Maintain clear criteria for eligibility to return, including contribution to the academic and social life of the community.
  • Adhere to the application to renew dates.
  • Introduce a non-refundable deposit for returning students who meet eligibility to hold their place.

Residence culture

We do expect a culture of greater diversity to develop in our residential communities with these changes. However, we don't expect that changing the balance of new and returning students should adversely affect the sense of community that characterises the residential experience.

The number of residential students acting in leadership roles - community coordinators and senior residents - will remain and they will continue to mentor and support the new intake of students.

Residential accommodation shortages

The University is committed to long-term planning that will ensure as many students as possible have the opportunity to have a residential experience as part of their education.

The University is building additional accommodation on campus set to open in 2017 and has a range of major projects underway to address current and projected demand for beds on the Acton campus.