PUBLIC TALK: UniverCities: Investigating the influence of student accommodation on global cities
|UniverCities: Investigating the influence of student accommodation on global cities
A public lecture by Dr Mark Holton, Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.
Accommodating university students has become one of the most pervasive forms of contemporary urban change, with increasingly mobile networks of higher education students altering, beyond recognition, the landscape of UniverCities – cities that host universities – across the world. This is particularly pertinent in relation to how students access and engage with institutions and their term-time host communities and initial UK and US-centric studies in the 1990s and 2000s sought to understand how students’ lifestyles might re-shape residential neighbourhoods. More recently, and as a response to increasingly neoliberalised global higher education networks, the appetite for student accommodation provisions has become somewhat ‘vertical’. This is witnessed in UniverCities across the world through the proliferation of large-scale purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) developments that package and marketise ‘student experiences’ through high quality hotel-style living. Drawing on an analysis of PBSA-sector literature that compares various global histories and contexts of student accommodation provision, this lecture recognises Australia specifically as an important emerging contender in the globalised higher education market – a location where domestic students predominantly live at home but that is witnessing increasing internationalisation. This literature has identified some of Australia’s main achievements in this sector to be the initiation of effective branding of PBSA developments and recognising students as a sophisticated consumer group. A key message here for other emergent and established PBSA markets is that increasing investment into the quality and accessibility of higher education institutions through strategic partnerships, developing overseas recruitment strategies and increasing student accommodation provision is fundamental in increasing the appeal of a UniverCity as a global education destination.
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