The Griffith University Village on the Gold Coast campus has been recognised with a national award for excellence in student accommodation.
A unique ‘First Year Uni’ strategy has brought industry wide acclaim and resulted in the 2015 Housing Operator of the Year Award.
Awarded last night by the Australasian Association of College and University Housing Officers (AACUHO), the award recognises student accommodation providers who demonstrate quantifiable excellence across their entire operation.
For first year students Olivia Alexander and Adam Pillidge the success came as no surprise after both experienced a positive transition into university life this year.
Olivia said she chose Griffith to study a Bachelor of Social Work based on its reputation and did not hesitate to move from Taree, New South Wales.
“Everyone has been very welcoming and I have built up a fantastic support network already,” she said.
The Griffith University Village is run in partnership with Griffith University, Campus Living Villages and the Student Guild.
Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ned Pankhurst believes that it was a shared vision of what they wanted the first year student experience to be that has contributed to its success.
“We believe the first year experience is important, as it is not only a transition from living at home or leaving high school but for international students it is a cultural shift as well,” he said.
“It’s about allowing students to form support networks early and quickly from both university campus staff and peer groups.
“We believe getting students embedded in their studies early and providing support mechanisms will maximise student success but it is also about creating a life experience.”
Professor Pankhurst believes successful students are those who have balance in their lives.
“The measure of performance that is most impressive is that students living on campus have stronger results than the normal student population. Happy students are good students.”
Griffith University Village was opened in 2007 and caters to 517 students.
Campus Living Villages Global Director of Marketing Shannon O’Connor said students can get to know more about the Village through a dedicated First Year Uni website, Youtube video gallery and private Facebook groups, which allow them to become part of Village life even before they arrive. And demand is growing.
“Griffith University Village has seen first year students apply for accommodation sooner and in larger numbers than previous years,” he said.
“In 2014 and 2015, the Village beat its own occupancy records, reaching 100% occupancy earlier than it ever had before.