Tuesday

Leeds University has painted grim picture of international student

The international students are being placed at risk in the university residence mart, with rogue landlords overstacking rooms or demanding sexual favours in return for accommodation.

The report recommends prosecuting universities that, for the financial reasons, understate the difficulties of obtaining an affordable residence to students. It also urges governments to boost the availability of affordable residence, and for councils to be given greater powers to clamp down on unprincipled landlords.

Leeds University study has painted a grim picture of international student residence, with experts calling for a nationwide crackdown on operators and institutions that place profit ahead of social responsibility.

The Monash university researcher cited cases in which landlords had filled tiny rooms with multiple students in a bid to maximise their return, or in some of the worst scenarios, had asked for sexual favours from vulnerable students in addition to rent and accommodation.

United kingdom is in the midst of a housing crisis that is having a very negative impact on the safety and welfare of international students. The education suppliers, recruitment agencies and government regulators need to engage with the international education market in a manner that is socially responsible even as they strive to profit, (and) regulations that limit the capacity of landlords to endanger the lives and wellbeing of international students require urgent review.

The report was based on interviews with 150 international students from four British universities. It also found:

The price of living in university residence increased by 37% between 2002 and 2006.

That a proportion of the profits for university accommodation should be redirected into housing support services for international students.

Accommodation built through public-private partnerships is even more costly to students but the conditions can often be worse.

Some institutions were taking "kickbacks" in return for getting to stay in particular student accommodation leeds, as well as bonuses for high occupancy rates.

Tenants Union of Victoria chief executive Mark O'Brien said the Coburg property was certainly not an isolated case, but the union found it hard to convince international students to speak openly because of fears they will be thrown out of the property and have nowhere to go.

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