The choice of student accommodation is surprisingly not one of the factors considered when analysing a student’s performance. Rather, it has been deemed as an extra-curricular factor rather than something that has the ability to add value to a student’s studies. It seems as if there is not much information regarding research done in the UK that attempts to correlate student performance and accommodation. It is quite important to analyse how the places that the students choose to tuck into at night impedes or enhances their academic performance.
Performance assessment based on whether living on-campus or off-campus
On being admitted to university, most institutions offer first-year students accommodation in the campus grounds. This is what is commonly referred to as living on-campus. Here, there are halls of residence in which the students live. These are large houses that are subdivided into smaller rooms that are divided among the students. The students either share the rooms or if lucky, have the rooms all to themselves. Normally, they share communal bathrooms and have a common dining area where they get their food. These conditions set ensure that the students socialize and form bonds that may last a lifetime.
Other students opt to live outside the campus grounds; commonly known as living off-campus. Here, the students who are more than likely done with their first year look for student lettings. The houses may be within walking distance to the campus or within a commutable distance to campus. The students live their own lives without having rules to govern them and are ultimately responsible for their own survival and well-being.
Studies show that students living on campus are more likely to attain higher grades and less likely to drop out of university as compared to their off-campus counterparts. Living on-campus ensures that the amenities are readily within reach of the student. This implies simplified and easy living. The likelihood of the student missing classes is very low. Similarly, they are more likely to join clubs and participate in campus politics. Due to their communal living, students living on-campus are more likely to form strong bonds that translate into life-long friendships. These factors ensure that the student develops fully and is able to perform with more ease.
Students living outside campus generally have a lot more on their plates. They have to take care of themselves and this often means going the extra mile. Apart from studying, off-campus students have to worry about getting to classes, what they will have for meals, how they will pay for rent and so forth. This puts them at a disadvantage because they often have to find a job to supplement their allowance so as to be able to afford this kind of lifestyle. They are less likely to make use of the school’s amenities such as the library for extended periods of time because they have places to be. Off-campus students are also less likely to participate in campus activities such as games and clubs. Due to their detached state from the university environment, they are also less obliged to involve themselves in politics. When all these factors add up, their general academic performance can be negatively affected.
Conditions of living and performance
The state of the students accommodation are also likely to have a positive or negative consequence on the students’ studies. Generally, students are more likely to perform better when the accommodations that they live in have the amenities which constitute a proper living environment. These amenities include availability of water and electricity, clean surroundings and tight security. Under conditions that are below par to these, the student is distracted and thus unable to fully concentrate on their studies.
Living in student communities and performance
This applies to both on-campus and off-campus students. On-campus students draw a sense of comradeship from living together. This in turn reflects on the student’s confidence and ability to take care of their business since they do it together anyway. Off-campus students that live in communities that have a strong student population also share the same traits. It makes journeying through university much easier since they look out for one another. This may include forming study groups and support groups. It ultimately reflects on the performance which is based on the kind of activities the students in these communities decided to undertake.
Accommodations with diversity
Most higher education learning institutions usually enrol students from all over the globe. Living and interacting with individuals from diverse cultures enables students to develop holistically. However, this can also lead to isolationism when individuals from different cultures decide to form their own groups. The latter is detrimental to the general performance of the student. If the interactions are done right and not forced, skills required in the industries such as the ability to work with all types of personalities can be acquired. Hence a student’s academic performance will look better.
Accommodations, though majorly overlooked, play a very critical role in the wholesome development of a student. The decision on whether to live within or out of the campus grounds is particularly a major one. This is because proximity to lecture rooms, easy access to campus amenities and the use of these amenities is very crucial when it comes to the students’ final performance. Students that live off-campus generally tend to mature faster than their on-campus colleagues. This is probably because they start learning how to fend for themselves earlier than their counterparts. How this plays out in their academic performance is debatable. But, generally due to the high amount of non-school related activities that they are involved in, they are less likely to perform better than those that live within the university campus. Living conditions and bonds formed in these areas of accommodation are ultimately factors that will strongly influence students’ performance.