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Focus session

  1. 1. Student Housing Forum 2013
  2. 2. International Student Accommodation Developments, Obligations and Opportunities David Bycroft
  3. 3.  International student accommodation has been ranked by many international students as their: • number one priority (ahead of their education) when they choose to study in Australia
  4. 4.  International student accommodation seems to have had more: • reviews, inquiries, investigations, reports and reruns • than Gilligans Island and Hogan Heroes combined  Things are very slowly improving as education providers and the industry come to realise that: • properly managed standards based accommodation is the key to marketing Australia as a safe and welcoming international student destination
  5. 5.  All of the reviews and inquiries that have occurred have all ended up with the same conclusion: • We have to improve how we help International students with the following: 1. Pre-departure information on appropriate accommodation 2. Education Provider/Industry validated accommodation options 3. Airport reception and welcome 4. Welcoming ‘hosted’ accommodation 5. Orientation and grounding of the student prior to them needing to make a long term accommodation decision
  6. 6.  To date Australian Education Providers are one of the best in the world at advising International Students about their accommodation options  They are the best because the other countries in the world fail more than Australia fails
  7. 7.  Complacency regarding International Student accommodation is one of the greatest threats to Australia’s international education growth  Tools and options exist however more commitment and accountability is required from both the Education Provider and the industry
  8. 8.  A new scam emerging  Offshore fraudsters renting out houses that aren’t even their own  Malaysian based scammer offering property for rent on trading site Gumtree  Asked to complete application form which had obviously been filled out before and asked to wire $1750  Actual home owner was not aware that her home was advertised on Gumtree  The complainant said that Gumtree did not have a contact telephone number and she had also complained via email but received no reply
  9. 9. Private rental accommodation If students are looking for private rental accommodation in Sydney, the following websites provide useful information: Or try
  10. 10.  The truth is: • When a new international student is properly welcomed at the airport through a pre-booked service • And the airport pickup service confirms with the hosted accommodation provider that the student is on their way • And the host welcomes the student into a warm, friendly and supported home environment • And the host knows that their job is to settle and to help culturalise the student as well as to learn to understand the students best options for the future accommodation • Then (surprise) the student makes a good decision on their future accommodation choice and is happy • And the word of mouth machine promoting Australian as an international education destination is turned on to fast forward
  11. 11.  The duty of care issue regarding international student accommodation appears clear to everyone ◦ but often not the education provider  The reviews, reports and compliance requirements on International Student Accommodation are consistent and are clear ◦ but unfortunately not clearly understood  The risk for education providers routinely following activities of the past without objective review and advice is large ◦ But WHY IS IT OFTEN IGNORED?
  12. 12.  Fortunately a group of quality service providers lead by a globally recognised brand have got together to help those who will listen meet ‘Global Best Practice’ for International Education  Partnered Allianz Global Education (PAGE) is about getting the basics right and back to the forefront 
  13. 13.  Allianz Global Assistance has also recently launched their Student Welcome Services online orientation initiative which is free to Australian Education providers  Free Demo opportunity is available at
  14. 14.  Homestay has come under the most scrutiny over the past 5 years to the point where there is no doubt about what homestay minimum standards should be  Unfortunately much of the industry is still in denial over their homestay obligations to other peoples children  Introducing Dr Stephen Howlett from the University of Sydney who has championed the development of appropriate homestay standards and insurance in a University setting
  15. 15. Dr Stephen Howlett The University of Sydney
  17. 17. OUR RESEARCH Aim An introductory comparative analysis of homestay and education providers’ qualitative opinion on the issue of homestay insurance risks, expectations and/or requirements. Hypothesis A better understanding of homestay insurance risks and measures to manage that risk could improve our interpretative frame for assessing and managing insurance risk in homestay accommodation and point the way to uniform standards of practice in homestay. Research Question To what extent do you expect and/or require the management of insurance risk in homestay accommodation for international students in New South Wales?
  18. 18. THE SURVEY ▪ 271 NSW education providers. Around 90% of the CRICOS register of providers in NSW (DEEWR 2013). 22 ‘bounceback’; 1 no longer enrolling international students ▪ 17 homestay providers actively promoting homestay services in NSW on the Internet. 1 ‘bounceback’ ▪ 3 industry associations ▪ Only 14 responses (5%). Holbrook et al (2007) ‘may not necessarily deliver an inaccurate result’ ▪ 6 High Schools ▪ 3 Private ELICOS providers ▪ 3 Homestay providers ▪ 2 University English language centres
  19. 19. 9 STANDARDS DEFINE INDUSTRY EXPECTATIONS Education providers are responsible, so they should drive industry’s expectation of standards: 1. Online portal for monitoring placements by providers, agents, Homestay suppliers hosts and students - ‘real time’ data and reports. 2. Guardianship for Younger Overseas Students (independent of education and accommodation provider). 3. Insurance cover for Homestay Supplier, hosts and students, including: 1. Workers compensation, Professional indemnity, Public liability etc. as a service supplier to the University; 2. Host liability insurance for personal injury, property damage, and advertising liability; and 3. Students householders insurance covering students personal effects, accidental damage within the host’s home. 4. Training for host families and supporting data to demonstrate the training has taken place. 5. Agreement signed by all host families outlining appropriate policies and the host obligations. 6. Documented and comprehensive student orientation. 7. A student policy - expectations and responsibilities of student, host family and Homestay supplier. 8. 24/7 Emergency and Critical incident phone support strategy. 9. Arrangements for management and accountability of all payments made on behalf of the student to the Homestay host. • Similar standards now in place in multiple Australian universities and other education providers • Now in the NSW International Education and Research Industry Action Plan (International Education and Research Industry Taskforce 2012, p.10)
  20. 20. FULL PRESENTATION AVAILABLE ▪ A full presentation of our work at The University of Sydney is available if required ▪ QUESTIONS? 21
  21. 21.  standards  Homestay Standards are now entrenched and it would be unwise for Education Providers to ignore their obligation to these standards and their duty of care risk exposure
  22. 22. Risk Mitigation and Rental Accommodation for International Students Damian Haber
  23. 23. Risk Mitigation and Rental Accommodation for International Students 4th Annual Student Housing Forum 2013
  24. 24. 2 1. The International Student Accommodation Risk Dilemma 2. ‘THE PAD’ Approach 3. Introducing STARS - a new online Accommodation Rating System Agenda
  25. 25. Disclaimer and Confidentiality The information contained in this Proposal is commercial in confidence and cannot be reproduced or disclosed to a third party in any way without the prior consent being first obtained in writing from THE PAD Management Pty Ltd or its representatives. The information is intended as a guide only and does not constitute advice nor should it be relied upon as constituting advice by THE PAD Group (THE PAD Management Pty Ltd) or its representatives. It is highly recommended that you obtain your own independent legal and financial advice in relation to the matters raised in this Document as well as other considerations that may impact on your decision making.
  26. 26. 1. The International Student Accommodation Risk Dilemma
  27. 27. • Demand for student beds is outstripping supply across Australia by 10-15 beds demand for every 1 bed supply • The private rental market accommodates approx. 69% of the student sector, less than 10% are housed on campus and in purpose built student accommodation • 63% of the student market chose branding as their key determinant in working out where to stay, location is next with 23% • 70% of the student market have an upper pricing point of $200-$225 per week for accommodation • More than 80% of complaint emanates from private rental accommodation that is off-campus and typically in suburban areas 5 Market Context
  28. 28. Concerns facing industry 1. Affordable Accommodation – significant shortage of suitable supply • Lack of approved standards and value for money • Regulatory uncertainty 2. Consumer Protection – safety and orientation • Is it safe? • Who will I be living with? • Where is it and how do I get to Uni? • If I can’t get guaranteed accommodation - should I go to Australia or somewhere else? 3. Education industry – sustainability & legal • Welfare & Accommodation (Duty of Care) - National Code 2007 (ESOS Act requirements) • Improving the Student Experience - enhances student retention 6
  29. 29. 2. ‘THE PAD’ - Approach
  30. 30. 1. Client engagement 1. Pre-management commencement audit compliance checklist • Building Amenity • Compliance • Insurance 2. Internal administration 1. Documentation Management System 1. Policies and Procedures Manual & templates 2. Risk Compliance Register 3. Chronologically recorded activities ‘THE PAD’ - Approach 8 3. Customer interface 1. Full disclosure 2. Services approach • High Performance Culture 3. Community • Participation • Support • Residential life
  31. 31. 3. Introducing STARS - a new online Student Accommodation Rating System
  32. 32. A national approach to student accommodation is required that is quality assured – Consistency – Standardisation – Transparency ‘THE PAD’ - Approach 10
  33. 33. Chaney Report International Education Advisory Council (Final Report) – Feb 2013
  34. 34. Universities Australia Extend student housing services The measures to increase the stock of affordable student housing outlined in section 1 would also support international students. In addition, universities will expand their student housing services for international students by publishing information on localities and providers that are suitable for student rental accommodation, taking account of quality, safety, location and public transport availability; by maintaining registers of landlords, agents and premises suitable for international students (Our emphasis added); and by offering mediation between student tenants and landlords when misunderstandings arise. Universities Australia – Policy Agenda 2013-2016: Feb 2013 12
  35. 35. 13 - LAUNCHES September 2013
  36. 36. Contact Details Damian Haber Chief Executive Officer BRISBANE – SYDNEY – MELBOURNE T 1300 843 723 | F +61 7 3009 9907 E | W
  37. 37. Council of International Students ‘Good Practice’ Program – Accommodation David Bycroft
  38. 38. Council Of International Students Australia (CISA) Good Practice Program
  39. 39. About CISA The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is the peak student representative body for all international students studying in Australia. The main purpose of CISA is to: • Advocate for the interests and needs of international students • Advocate for high quality education for international students • Facilitate network building (and business development) among stakeholders with an interest in supporting international students
  40. 40. Good Practice Program • Designed to guide Education Providers on ‘best practice’ within the sector, with a focus on enhancing a ‘positive student experience’ and attracting more and higher quality students to Australia •
  41. 41. ‘Good Practice’ Summary Checklist • Recruitment – Contracted credible Agents with transparent arrangements – Agents being discouraged from taking payments/commissions for accommodation, student welfare and OSHC – Prospective students being provided with trends regarding opportunities for employment related to education course
  42. 42. ‘Good Practice’ Summary Checklist • Pre-arrival and post-arrival Information – Evidence of an accountable online comprehensive pre- departure ‘living and studying in Australia’ orientation program accessible to all international students from pre- arrival to end of visa – Multiple language translations available in pre-arrival orientation program – After hours support line 24/7 for international students post-arrival
  43. 43. ‘Good Practice’ Summary Checklist • Upon Arrival – Ensure students are appropriately welcomed – Encourage airport transfers • Accommodation – Ensure recommendations are qualified and meet industry standards (e.g. homestay) – Ensure referrals for rental accommodation have been vetted – Institutions support for students being disadvantaged in accommodation
  44. 44. Education Providers • Institutions adopting the key elements of the CISA Good Practice Program will receive a marketing advantage through being able to use the CISA endorsement globally • CISA would like to work with education providers to help build their business by continual work on their good, better, best practice initiatives
  45. 45. Council Of International Students Australia (CISA) Good Practice Program
  46. 46. es/Senate_Committees?url=eet_ctte/completed_inquiries /2008-10/international_students/report/c03.htm#anc9 (see sections 3.65 through to 3.71)
  47. 47. also commended these same 8 standards and recommended them for legislation. e.nsf/0/fc01867c1767684fca2579520018e34d/$FILE/Gove rnment%20response%20- %20international%20student%20accommodation%20in%2 0NSW.pdf (recommendation 4 and pages 3 and 4 relating to Homestay).
  48. 48. Network Provider Professional Indemnity Insurance of not less than $5,000,000 any one claim and in the aggregate Network Provider Management Liability Insurance of not less than $1,000,000 any one claim and in the aggregate Network Provider Broadform (Public and Products) Liability Insurance of not less than $20,000,000 any one occurrence and any one period of insurance
  49. 49. Network Provider and Host Family Broadform (Public and Products) Liability Insurance of not less than $20,000,000 any once occurrence and any one period of insurance Student Insurance of not less than $10,000 for General Contents including $20,000,000 Personal Liability Insurance
  50. 50. NSW Government Taskforce nsw/industry-action-plans/international-education-and- research ISA Guardian & Welfare Service CISA Good Practice Program
  51. 51. AHN Insurance Australian Homestay Standards Australian Welfare Standards (Recommended)
  52. 52. Student Housing Forum 2013