Far away from home: the housing question and international students in Australia

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Journal Article
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 2012, 34 (2), pp. 201 - 216
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It has become commonplace for scholars and education managers to talk of the globalisation of higher education. How to provide housing for the growing numbers of international students, however, remains contentious. This paper presents the situation in Australia by analysing the results of two large surveys and official reports published by student associations, housing authorities, the University of Sydney, and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. It shows that the authorities have not succeeded in providing an answer to the international student housing question. In turn, accommodation remains a difficult issue for most international students and threatens to undermine the quality of higher education. Understood only as an accommodation problem, it may be argued that the situation could be improved if more affordable student housing was provided. However, this paper argues that until the problem is framed in socio-economic terms and analysed from a broad perspective, a solution will remain elusive.
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