This Research Report has been prepared following a general recognition that: the college accommodation system as it currently operates in Australia is increasingly unable to provide sufficient places to meet a constant or expanding level of demand. A number of alternatives have arisen in recent years. However, they have generally been unable to offer an environment which substantially satisfies the academic, social and cultural needs of students.
The objectives of this report are to determine the extent to which Australian colleges and halls of residence have satisfied these identified needs. A further objective is to propose some of the ownership and management options that could be available to the providers of student accommodation. A. specific development situated close to the campus of the University of Queensland has been selected as a focal point for the report.
The methodology chosen to achieve these objectives includes an examination of the beginnings and subsequent development of the Australian college system. Individual colleges are selected for analysis which provi.de reasonable examples and which highlight specific aspects of the evolution. The current stage of the evolution is described by reference to general comments and observations as well to specific definitions as prescr ihea by the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission (CTEC). An independent survey undertaken in 1983 is the most recent comprehensive study of college residents' perceptions of the services and facilities presently available. The survey assists in determining the relative value of these attributes.
The methodology includes an examination of the operations of a modern college in an effort to gain some perspective of the issues and concerns that are regularly faced by college administrators. Management initiatives within the college system are also highlighted through this examination. Against this background, several threats are revealed which will ensure a more complex and difficult management environment in the future. Residential alternatives to colleges within the Australian system are identified and several management options are referenced together with the expected level of satisfaction derived from each.
Evidence suggests that a varied array of services and facilities are currently available to today's college resident. The benefits subsequently derived are largely appreciated although the 1983 survey indicates that individual residents expect more or less from their colleges in certain areas. Recognising the financial constraints imposed by government funding bodies which limit the expansion of traditional colleges, it is apparent that capital injections must come from the educational institutions themselves or from the commercial sector. The utilisation of experienced college administrators within the management process will be essential to the provision of quality services and facilities under either of these establishment alternatives. The recommended option of combining the separate skills and resources of experienced residential developers and professional college administrators is deemed necessary to satisfy the dual objectives of adequate investment returns for the commercial stakeholders and of providing appropriate services and facilities to satisfy academic, social and cultural needs of residents.