Yes, student accommodation does impact international admissions.

Let’s look at student accommodation trends. It is important to understand how housing turns student interest into an application.

The value of accommodations

There are two important aspects of accommodations beyond their role as physical housing:

1. Recruitment: schools that offer housing may enjoy an advantage in attracting international students.

2. Retention: various studies from US universities reveal that students who live on campus are more involved in campus life. Plus, they have a lower dropout rate. Also, they perform at a higher academic level than off-campus students.

Experts say

Director of Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, NY says, “The residence halls have definitely added to our enrolment and diversified our campus.”

Looking toward Asia, Takushoku University in Japan opened a dormitory in April 2012 at its Hachioji campus in western Tokyo. Within a year, the facility received three times as many applicants as there were available rooms. University official Mitsuo Nakahora says, “The existence of this dorm apparently convinces students to consider Takushoku as an option when they apply for university.”

Manager of academic affairs of Shibaura Institute of Technology said: “Stable housing supply for students from abroad is part of the strategy to increase the number of international students and for the globalisation of our university.”

On the opposite, a lack of suitable accommodation is certainly effecting admissions at New Zealand’s Otago Polytechnic’s Cromwell campus. Central Otago director explained that students are choosing not to study there. This is because backpacker accommodation is the only option for some: ”We know that there are a number of people who have come and talked to us that were keen to do the programmes, who haven’t … [enrolled] because they haven’t found a suitable place [to stay].”

Catering to specific students

The same message emerges from campus administrators around the globe: housing draws international students. Because of this, not only are community colleges adding dorms. In countries where student accommodation is typically offered, the number and quality of those options is increasing. Also, the amenities offered are widening.

For example, at the University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus, the new residence hall Kittredge Central features an environmentally sustainable design. And caters to students in the school’s engineering programme by offering Spanish language immersion.

Diane Sieber, associate dean for education in the university’s College of Engineering and Applied Science said: “There are successful residence halls for engineers at other universities. But we offer cultural learning and a focus on global development. This is the first programme of its kind.”

At University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland, students can live in an alcohol-free dorm. The measure was conceived as way to combat binge drinking. Plus, it enables to be inclusive towards certain cultures and communities.