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Whitireia Community Polytechnic Student Accommodation Report


Abstract

According to research literature, the quality of lodging has a considerable impact on the ability of learners to study successfully, as well as on their satisfaction with their time at university; such satisfaction ultimately increases the competitiveness of universities and attracts more students. The objective of this study is to investigate several factors that may affect student satisfaction with their lodging and to compare the importance of these factors for the students of Whitireia Community Polytechnic (New Zealand). For this paper, a convenience sample was drawn from the students of the named institution; the respondents were asked to complete a survey specifically prepared for this study. The results were transferred into IBM SPSS Statistics; descriptive statistics were produced, and several paired samples t-tests were run. No, statistically significant (at α =.05) difference was found in the respondents’ opinion about the importance of such factors as (1) the distance between their accommodation and university, (2) the perceived convenience of transportation, (3) the friendliness of their host, and (4) the amount of privacy they received from their host. The only significant difference (p=.048) that was found was between factors (2) and (4). It can be concluded that, surprisingly, students viewed the named factors as approximately equally unimportant.

Introduction

The satisfaction of university students may depend on several factors, including those related to accommodation, and this satisfaction is important for universities to attract new students. This statement is confirmed by research, such as Najib, Yusof, and Abidin (2011), Khozaei, Hassan, Al Kodmany, and Aarab (2014), or others. The objective of the current study is to investigate the opinions of students of Whitireia Community Polytechnic (New Zealand), which were not found in the literature, about several factors related to accommodation, such as proximity to the university, transportation convenience, friendliness of the host and the host’s respect for the student’s privacy. This may permit better satisfying the lodging-related needs of this university’s learners and increase the university’s competitiveness. After the literature review, the paper’s methodology is described, and the results of the statistical analysis are reported. Finally, in conclusion, the results of the study are summarised.

Literature Review

The satisfaction of students with their universities plays a considerable role for these universities (Najib et al., 2011; Wilkins & Huisman, 2011), for high student satisfaction increases the competitiveness of a college (Bashir, Sarki, & Samidi, 2012), attracting more potential students (Muslim, Karim, & Abdullah, 2012a; Najib, Yusof, & Sani, 2012). One of the important factors affecting student satisfaction is accommodation (Khozaei et al., 2014): because many students study away from their home (this especially pertains to international learners) and thus require lodging (Kenna, 2011), and because an appropriate atmosphere is pivotal for successful studying (Henning, Krägeloh, Moir, Doherty, & Hawken, 2012; Howden-Chapman et al., 2011), accommodation is an important concern to them (Coles & Swami, 2012); so, universities providing such gain an advantage, and universities providing high-quality lodging gain even greater advantage. Also, it should be noted that the presence of international students has a positive effect on an educational institution (Andersson, Sadgrove, & Valentine, 2012; Holton & Riley, 2013; Ramachandran, 2011). It is stated that in the USA, students specifically evaluate accommodation as an important factor when they consider studying at a public university (Joseph, Mullen, & Spake, 2012).

Therefore, it follows that is paramount to assess the importance of different factors of accommodation for students (Khozaei, Hassan, & Razak, 2011) to be able to provide them with better accommodation, which itself is an essential factor (Delmelle & Delmelle, 2012; Thomas, 2011), to enhance their experience (Muslim, Karim, & Abdullah, 2012b), to permit them to learn more effectively (Forsey, Broomhall, & Davis, 2012), and to improve the attractiveness of a university for other learners (Ahmad, 2015). In particular, such factors as the proximity of the campus and the convenience of transportation (Manzoor, 2013), as well as certain characteristics of the people that a student lives with, may play an important role in this regard (Smith & Hubbard, 2014; Wilkins & Huisman, 2011). Thus, it is possible to investigate the concerns of students about some of these factors further.

Methods

The current study was conducted in the Whitireia Community Polytechnic, an educational institution in New Zealand. The population for this study was comprised of 30 students of the named institution, who were found on campus and asked to complete the survey. Therefore, the convenience sampling method was used. It should also be noted that the sample included not only international students but also students from New Zealand who came to study from other cities.

The instrument which was used to carry out the study is provided in Appendix 1. It was created specifically for the current study. It contained several demographic variables (gender, age group, ethnicity/origins), several additional variables (a type of accommodation used, weekly lodging expenses, being a car owner), and four study variables the answers to which were based on 5-point Likert scale, which may roughly be considered an interval/ratio scale (Warner, 2013). The four variables reflected: 1) whether the respondents perceived the distance needed to travel from their place to the university as important (distance); 2) whether they perceived transportation convenience as important (transp_conven); 3) if they thought that their host’s friendliness is important (host_friendliness); and 4) whether they believed that the amount of privacy received from the host was important (host_respprivacy). The answers ranged from 1 = strongly disagree (i.e., the factor is unimportant) to 5 = strongly agree (i.e., the factor is important).

To analyze the data, IBM SPSS Statistics software was utilized. First, univariate analysis of data was conducted to obtain the descriptive statistics of the interval/ratio variables; the Analyse → Descriptive statistics → Descriptives procedure was used (George & Mallery, 2016). Next, several bivariate analyses were carried out; namely, six paired samples t-tests were conducted to compare the means of the variables (Field, 2013). More specifically, all the pairs of the inspected variables were compared to find out if there were any statistically significant correlations and/or any statistically significant differences between them. The default alpha level α =.05 was used, due to the absence of any rationale for using any other level (Field, 2013).

Results

The gathered data is provided in Appendix 2. Table 1 below shows the results of four univariate analyses of the researched variables (distance, transp_conven, host_friendliness, host_respprivacy); more specifically, the means and their standard errors, as well as standard deviations are displayed. It is easy to see that the students were least concerned about the distance which they had to travel to get to the campus; and they were most concerned about whether their host would respect their privacy.

Descriptive Statistics
N Mean Std. Deviation
Statistic Statistic Std. Error Statistic
distance 30 2.00 .203 1.114
transp_conven 30 2.07 .179 .980
host_friendliness 30 2.33 .188 1.028
host_respprivacy 30 2.63 .212 1.159
Valid N (listwise) 30

Table 1. Results of the univariate analyses of data.

However, to better find out whether any differences were statistically significant or probably due to chance alone, some paired samples t-tests were run. The results are shown below; Table 2 displays the correlations between the variables, whereas Table 3 demonstrates the results of the t-tests.

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation Sig.
Pair 1 distance & transp_conven 30 .663 .000
Pair 2 host_friendliness & host_respprivacy 30 -.154 .416
Pair 3 distance & host_friendliness 30 .301 .106
Pair 4 distance & host_respprivacy 30 -.240 .201
Pair 5 transp_conven & host_friendliness 30 .388 .034
Pair 6 transp_conven & host_respprivacy 30 .022 .907

Table 2. Correlations between the variables.

From Table 2, it can be seen that there was a statistically significant correlation between the variables distance and transp_conven: p <.0005; the correlation was rather high, r =.663; therefore, worrying about distance was positively associated with worrying about transportation convenience. Also, there was a moderate, but statistically significant correlation between transp_conven and host_friendliness: p =.034, r =.388, which might need further investigation.

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 distance – transp_conven -.067 .868 .159 -.391 .258 -.421 29 .677
Pair 2 host_friendliness – host_respprivacy -.300 1.664 .304 -.921 .321 -.987 29 .332
Pair 3 distance – host_friendliness -.333 1.269 .232 -.807 .140 -1.439 29 .161
Pair 4 distance – host_respprivacy -.633 1.790 .327 -1.302 .035 -1.937 29 .062
Pair 5 transp_conven – host_friendliness -.267 1.112 .203 -.682 .149 -1.313 29 .199
Pair 6 transp_conven – host_respprivacy -.567 1.501 .274 -1.127 -.006 -2.067 29 .048

Table 3. Results of the t-tests.

Table 3 shows the results of the paired samples t-tests. It is easy to see that the means of only one pair of variables were statistically significantly different, namely, transp_conven and host_respprivacy: t (29) = -2.067, p =.048, mean difference = -0.567 (95% CI: from -1.127 to -0.006). However, it should be stressed that p =.048 is very close to α =.05, so it might be recommended to restrain from giving a “yes/no” answer to the question about whether there is a difference between these two variables (Field, 2013); further investigations may be needed. It is also curious to observe that no statistically significant difference was found between the variables the difference in means of which was greatest (i.e., distance and host_respprivacy).

On the whole, no statistically significant differences were found between any of the variables, apart from the pair transp_conven and host_respprivacy, but even in this case, it might be better to restrain from stating that there is “indeed” a significant difference (Field, 2013). Thus, it might be possible to state that students probably cared approximately equally little about all the issues named in the questionnaire.

Conclusion

Therefore, the current study aimed to investigate several factors that may affect the satisfaction of students of Whitireia Community Polytechnic with their accommodation. It was found that the students did not consider such factors as (1) the proximity of their lodging to the university, (2) the convenience of transportation, (3) the friendliness of their host, and (4) the host’s provision of privacy to be very important; the descriptive statistics were: (1) M=2.00, SD=1.114; (2) M=2.07, SD=.980; (3) M=2.33, SD=1.029; (4) M=2.63, SD=1.159, where 1 meant very unimportant, and 5 meant very important. The only statistically significant difference was found between factors (2) and (4): t (29) = -2.067, p =.048, mean difference = -0.567 (95% CI: from -1.127 to -0.006); however, the p-value is very close to.05, so it might be better to restrain from a definite answer about the presence/absence of the difference.

This does not agree with past studies, which imply that the named factors may be important for learners (Khozaei et al., 2011; Muslim et al., 2012b). However, the results of the current study are significant because it is important to know the specifics of local learners to be able to provide them with the housing that they wish. In light of these findings, it may be recommended to investigate other factors that are potentially important for local learners.

The validity of this study may be limited by the fact that a custom-prepared, untested questionnaire was used for the survey. The generalisability of the results is strictly limited by the f convenience sampling procedure, as well as by limited sample size.

References

Ahmad, S. Z. (2015). Evaluating student satisfaction of quality at international branch campuses. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(4), 488-507.

Andersson, J., Sadgrove, J., & Valentine, G. (2012). Consuming campus: Geographies of encounter at a British university. Social & Cultural Geography, 13(5), 501-515.

Bashir, S., Sarki, I. H., & Samidi, J. (2012). Students’ perception on the service quality of Malaysian universities’ hostel accommodation. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(15), 213-222.

Coles, R., & Swami, V. (2012). The sociocultural adjustment trajectory of international university students and the role of university structures: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Research in International Education, 11(1), 87-100.

Delmelle, E. M., & Delmelle, E. C. (2012). Exploring spatio-temporal commuting patterns in a university environment. Transport Policy, 21, 1-9.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Forsey, M., Broomhall, S., & Davis, J. (2012). Broadening the mind? Australian student reflections on the experience of overseas study. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(2), 128-139.

George, D., & Mallery, P. (2016). IBM SPSS Statistics 23 step by step: A simple guide and reference (14th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Henning, M. A., Krägeloh, C., Moir, F., Doherty, I., & Hawken, S. J. (2012). Quality of life: International and domestic students studying medicine in New Zealand. Perspectives on Medical Education, 1(3), 129-142.

Holton, M., & Riley, M. (2013). Student geographies: Exploring the diverse geographies of students and higher education. Geography Compass, 7(1), 61-74.

Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Chapman, R., O’Sullivan, K., Barnard, L. T., & Lloyd, B. (2011). Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts. Energy Policy, 49, 134-142.

Joseph, M., Mullen, E. W., & Spake, D. (2012). University branding: Understanding students’ choice of an educational institution. Journal of Brand Management, 20(1), 1-12.

Kenna, T. (2011). Studentification in Ireland? Analysing the impacts of students and student accommodation on Cork City. Irish Geography, 44(2-3), 191-213.

Khozaei, F., Hassan, A. S., Al Kodmany, K., & Aarab, Y. (2014). Examination of student housing preferences, their similarities and differences. Facilities, 32(11/12), 709-722.

Khozaei, F., Hassan, A. S., & Razak, N. A. (2011). Development and validation of the student accommodation preferences instrument (SAPI). Journal of Building Appraisal, 6(3-4), 299-313.

Manzoor, H. (2013). Measuring student satisfaction in public and private universities in Pakistan. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 13(3), 1-12.

Muslim, M. H., Karim, H. A., & Abdullah, I. C. (2012a). Challenges of off-campus living environment for non-resident students’ well-being in UiTM Shah Alam. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 50, 875-883.

Muslim, M. H., Karim, H. A., & Abdullah, I. C. (2012b). Satisfaction of students’ living environment between on-campus and off-campus settings: A conceptual overview. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 68, 601-614.

Najib, N. U. M, Yusof, N. A., & Abidin, N. Z. (2011). Student residential satisfaction in research universities. Journal of Facilities Management, 9(3), 200-212.

Najib, N. U. M., Yusof, N. A., & Sani, N. M. (2012). The effects of students’ socio-physical backgrounds onto satisfaction with student housing facilities. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 62, 64-74.

Ramachandran, N. T. (2011). Enhancing international students’ experiences: An imperative agenda for universities in the UK. Journal of Research in International Education, 10(2), 201-220.

Smith, D. P., & Hubbard, P. (2014). The segregation of educated youth and dynamic geographies of studentification. Area, 46(1), 92-100. doi:10.1111/area.12054

Thomas, S. (2011). What drives student loyalty in universities: An empirical model from India. International Business Research, 4(2), 183-192.

Warner, R. M. (2013). Applied statistics: From bivariate through multivariate techniques (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Wilkins, S., & Huisman, J. (2011). International student destination choice: the influence of home campus experience on the decision to consider branch campuses. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21(1), 61-83.

Appendix 1

Survey: Students’ Accommodation Preferences

Dear Respondent,

We are currently taking a course on Research Methods in Management. As part of this course, we are conducting a survey on student accommodation preferences. Therefore, we would very much appreciate your voluntary contribution to our study if you anonymously provided answers to the questions in this survey. All the responses will be kept confidential, and will be used for educational purposes such as the practice of data entry and analysis.

Knowing that you are busy, we have kept this quiz short, and it should take you less than several minutes to complete.

Student name 1

Student name 2

Instructor: Instructor name

Please answer the questions below by circling the number of the answer which most suits you:

1. My gender:

  1. Male
  2. Female

2. My age group is:

  1. <18 years old
  2. 18-24 years old
  3. 25-34 years old
  4. 35 years old or more

3. My origins:

  1. Kiwi
  2. Australian
  3. European
  4. Asian
  5. African
  6. North American
  7. South American

4. Currently, I have the following accommodation:

  1. Flatmate
  2. Homestay
  3. Individual apartment
  4. Still seeking permanent accommodation

5. I currently spend the following sum on my lodging each week:

  1. <100 NZD
  2. 100 NZD – 200 NZD
  3. 200 NZD – 300 NZD
  4. 300 NZD – 400 NZD
  5. >400 NZD

6. I currently own a car in New Zealand:

  1. No
  2. Yes

7. The distance between my accommodation and the location where I have my classes is important.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

8. Convenience of transportation is important for me.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

9. The friendliness of my host is important for me.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

10. The amount of privacy that I receive from my host is important for me.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

Appendix 2

The Data Collected via the Survey

id gender age_group origins type_accom lodg_cost_weekly car_owner distance transp_conven host_friendliness host_respprivacy
1 1 1 1 2 1 0 2 2 2 3
2 2 2 3 1 2 0 2 2 3 3
3 1 2 4 2 2 0 1 2 4 4
4 1 2 2 1 2 0 3 3 4 2
5 1 2 5 1 3 1 1 1 2 3
6 2 2 2 1 2 0 2 1 2 3
7 2 2 1 2 2 1 4 5 3 4
8 2 3 2 1 2 0 1 2 2 3
9 1 4 4 1 3 0 1 1 1 2
10 1 2 4 2 2 0 3 2 1 3
11 1 3 2 3 5 1 1 2 2 4
12 2 2 2 1 2 0 2 1 1 2
13 1 1 1 3 3 0 1 1 3 2
14 2 2 6 3 4 1 2 1 2 1
15 1 2 1 1 2 0 1 2 3 1
16 1 2 2 3 3 0 2 3 1 2
17 2 3 2 1 2 0 3 2 4 1
18 2 2 1 1 2 0 1 1 3 2
19 1 3 7 1 2 0 4 3 4 1
20 1 2 7 3 4 1 1 2 3 5
21 1 2 1 1 2 0 3 3 2 3
22 1 3 1 1 3 0 2 2 2 4
23 1 2 2 2 1 0 1 1 1 2
24 2 3 5 2 2 0 3 3 4 2
25 2 2 2 1 3 0 5 4 3 1
26 1 3 3 2 1 0 1 2 2 5
27 1 2 4 1 2 0 3 1 1 4
28 1 2 1 1 2 0 1 2 2 2
29 2 3 7 3 4 1 1 2 1 2
30 1 2 1 2 2 0 2 3 2 3

Note: car_owner: 0 = no, 1 = yes.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Whitireia Community Polytechnic Student Accommodation." November 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/whitireia-community-polytechnic-student-accommodation/.

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