From: Registrar Student Life

Sent: 14 August 2014 19:36

To: Marion Stanton; Ian Walker; David Segal; Jasmine Jury; Peter Kanowski; Philip Dutton; Damien McCartin; Peter Warrington; Residential Life Manager

Cc: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience); Dale Brosnahan; Angela Watkins

Subject: Residential Fees for 2015 – operationalising SMG recommendations

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Residential Fees for 2015 paper sponsored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and endorsed by Senior Management Group contained a set of recommendations that Division of Student Life will operationalise.

Key changes for 2015

  • Promote fee increase
  • Extend application closing date for Accommodation Guarantee
  • Increase by 20% the number of beds available for undergraduate students eligible for the Accommodation Guarantee
  • Promote a priority list of undergraduate students eligible for the Accommodation Guarantee
  • Modify the online application form and introduce a central allocation process
  • Model changes to expand the Accommodation Guarantee to graduate students studying for the first time at ANU (2016)

1) Promote fee increase

Add as soon as possible residential fee increase information to webpages and Open Day information with the clarification that the 5% increase for catered halls includes a 5% increase for both the room component and the catered food component.

2) Extend application closing date for Accommodation Guarantee

Extend the closing date for applications to be eligible for the Accommodation Guarantee to 6th January 2015. This is a considerable extension from the closing date of 30th November. Previously, applications received after that closing date were not guaranteed. During that December period, Student Recruitment run a Change of Preference campaign, targeting high-achieving interstate students who have University of Melbourne, Monash University, or University of Sydney as their first preference. Student Recruitment have found it challenging to attract, recruit, and convert these students to ANU, given they cannot offer them the Accommodation Guarantee. Extending the application deadline by five weeks allows our recruiting teams to run an aggressive Change of Preference campaign and engage in more meaningful conservations with prospective students.

The extension of the closing date allows Student Recruitment to engage in meaningful recruitment activity in December and has the potential to see a significant increase in the number of students applying for accommodation. This provides ANU with a risk to manage – meeting the demand of students eligible for the Accommodation Guarantee. Based on 2013 data, 350 applications were submitted after the 30th November deadline, of which 160 were accepted. It has been decided that for 2015 a buffer of at least 250 beds is required.

3) Achieve this buffer by increasing the number of students leaving Halls after one or two years or residence

We have therefore set a target this year of 20% more beds being available for undergraduate students eligible for the Accommodation Guarantee. Based on 2013 data around expected vacancies after transfers-returners, at the end of last November, there were 1238 freed up beds across the Halls. A 20% increase on this figure would provide an extra 246 beds for 2015. A 20% increase in beds would for example mean for Bruce Hall going from the November 2013 figure of 64 vacant beds to 77 vacant beds; for Fenner Hall, it would mean going from 101 vacant beds to 121. Strategies to achieve this 20% increase in beds this year will include:

  • Establishing criteria by which ‘returners’ are eligible to apply to return and criteria by which they are not (e.g., student who have not adequately contributed to the social and academic life of the residence).
  • Adhering strictly to the application to renew dates.
  • Running workshops for later-year students on how to rent a share house.
  • Introducing a $400 non-refundable deposit for ‘returners’ to hold a place if they meet eligibility criteria.
  • Developing a process by which students who leave their Hall can maintain a connection with the Hall.

4) Promote a priority/eligibility list

Promote on the ANU website and elsewhere the following text.

ANU guarantees accommodation (but not necessarily your first preference) to all the following students in their first year at ANU:

  1. Indigenous students
  2. Students with a disability
  3. Tuckwell Scholars
  4. Exchange students
  5. 1st year domestic undergraduate students
  6. 1st year international undergraduate students
  7. ANU Medical School students
  8. ANU College Foundation Program

5) Modify the online application form and introduce a central allocation process

Make minor changes to the online application form to reduce wording and to reduce the number of ‘clicks’ involved in the process. The “Supporting information” page will not be mandatory and the character limit will be decreased. The “Referee” page will be hidden. It is believed that a simpler application process that aligns with the transparency of the Admissions process will make a huge difference to ANU recruiting campaigns.

Next year ANU will review of the application form.

A centralised and transparent allocation process will be introduced by January 2015. Once UAC information is released, University Accommodation Services will allocate places to achieve the best possible social and academic mix in each Hall of gender, international/domestic, and degree program that reflects the broad cultural diversity of the ANU student cohort.

6) Expand the Accommodation Guarantee to graduate students (2016)

Model staged reduction in number of ‘returners’ to allow the move towards including in the Accommodation Guarantee domestic and international graduate students studying for the first time at ANU.

We realise that implementing these changes will involve a significant and collective effort. Next week I am available to meet with you to discuss.

Naturally, in 2015 we will be keen to review this process. Angela Watkins, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions, will report on the impact of the changes made to the Accommodation Guarantee and will engage with key stakeholders and consider ways to improve, if required, the process.

 

Kind regards,

Stephen

 

Dr Stephen Milnes

Acting Registrar

Deputy Director Student Experience

Division of Student Life

6th Floor, 121 Marcus Clarke Street (enter via Childers Street)

Canberra

Mailing Address:

Building X-005

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 0200

T: +61 2 6125 6051

 

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