The Education and Workforce Select Committee is currently undertaking an Inquiry into Student Accommodation. It was commissioned during the COVID-19 Level 2 period, after the poor and inconsistent treatment of students by halls of residence across Aotearoa New Zealand during lockdown.

The Inquiry focuses on both the experience of students during the COVID-19 lockdown, and during normal semesters. It has a broad scope to look at any issues that residents are facing in this space. The inquiry will cover a range of issues, from the cost of accommodation, the safety of students and staff, the experience of international students, and whether student accommodation upholds and respects the identity of students from all backgrounds.

New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) president Isabella Lenihan-Ikin says it’s important the Education and Workforce Select Committee hears from a range of voices as it considers the future of student accommodation in Aotearoa,

“Staff, both professional and general, are able to offer an incredibly useful perspective on student accommodation. Student accommodation should provide a gateway for students to access tertiary education. However, unless we review current governance, management and affordability of accommodation, against the experience that students are promised by providers, we will not see the full purpose of student accommodation actualised. Staff play a crucial role in unpacking the systemic issues within student accommodation.”

To make it easy for you to submit to the Inquiry, the NZUSA has prepared an easy template and submission form. All submissions that NZUSA receives will be sent to the Education and Workforce Select Committee. The template is based on the twelve points that the Inquiry focuses on. Submissions are open until 12am, 2 July 2020.

Visit here to have your say.