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Aus: int’l students underwhelmed by rental options

Accommodation options only just past muster with international students in Australia, according to a new report from edtech company Cohort Go, which found a growing need for options catering to the specialised needs of overseas students.

Australia's accommodation options received a satisfaction score of 57 out of 100 from international students. Photo: Markus Spiske/UnsplashAustralia's accommodation options received a satisfaction score of 57 out of 100 from international students. Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Only 12% of students used an education agent to find living arrangements

The 2019 Aussie Study Experience report, which surveyed almost 700 international students, gave Australian accommodation a satisfaction score of 57 out of 100, finding 60% were living in a private rental over other options.

“The more preparation that was done, the greater the satisfaction”

“The trend means that students coming from overseas aren’t necessarily getting a service that’s tailored to their needs by the accommodation providers,” said Cohort Go chief executive Mark Fletcher.

“Our research shows that these students are underwhelmed by their current, mostly privately-rented accommodation.”

Fletcher added the average rating provided an opportunity for purpose-built providers, which currently represent 8% of the market, to deliver specialised services for international students.

“I think what we see with the purpose-built student accommodation providers… they provide a really streamlined experience and a superior experience than those that are living in private rentals,” he told The PIE News.

While an opportunity for purpose-built providers, Fletcher added education agents had a substantial role to play after the report found a correlation between dissatisfaction and pre-departure research.

“It really came through that the more preparation that was done, the greater the satisfaction was for the international student,” he said.

Only 12% of students used an education agent to find living arrangements, Fletcher said, with counsellors five times as likely to assist students to find other services such as OSHC.

“There is a big opportunity for education agents and providers to work together to showcase the best that student accommodation providers have to offer.”

In 2018, reports that six international students were found living in a 24-hour study facility lead to calls from the sector for more purpose-built and affordable accommodation options.

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