11 November 2011
Danish Homes Sdn. Bhd., Kampar.
Riseban Rajathilagam, Consultant,
Residence Consultancy Bhd.
Terms of reference
Danish Homes Sdn. Bhd. is a privately owned company that specializes in managing student accommodation in the vicinity of the University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (KTAR). It is currently managing about 80% of the Westlake Homes as student accommodation. In order to enhance and provide a better and attractive student accommodation package, Danish Homes Sdn. Bhd., has approached Residence Consultancy Bhd., to do feasibility study and provide recommendations to improve its services. This report is prepared in response to the request made by Danish Homes Sdn. Bhd., to make its student accommodation as the preferred choice of students of UTAR and KTAR.
The submission dateline of this report is two months before the start of the new university term as requested by Danish Homes Sdn. Bhd.
In order to truly understand the needs of students as far as accommodation is concerned, Residence Consultancy Bhd., distributed questionnaires to existing students who were renting houses, apartments and rooms at the Westlake and Eastlake residential areas. These questionnaires would aid in providing a clearer picture and data on the problems faced by students seeking accommodation and other relevant services required.
Apart from the questionnaires, interviews were also conducted with both students and parents of students on their views of an acceptable student accommodation. The aim of these interviews which were conducted randomly is to understand the parents’ views as they play an important role in deciding the choice of accommodation for their children. The information from the questionnaires and interviews were then thoroughly scrutinized and tabulated for easy reference and to make the necessary recommendations.
Findings and Recommendations
The following are the main findings of data collected from the questionnaires and interviews revealed certain key areas that must be given attention. Recommendations to these findings would be presented at a later stage as response to each key area.
Students and their parents pay particular attention to the location of the student accommodation. The general feeling is that the nearer the place of accommodation is to the campuses, the better it is. Their main concern is transport and easy and safe access to the campuses and to other facilities likes shops, eateries and banks. Most participants who took part in the study voiced out that they incurred extra expenses on transport to get to their colleges and shopping areas. They were also concerned about the safety aspect of travelling to these places.
2. Time and Cost Effectiveness
Another concern of the students and parents alike is the hidden expenses and time consumption a student has to expect. Although many of the accommodation outside charge a lower rental rate, students need to spend extra on laundry services, broadband connections and also the maintenance of their accommodation. They felt that it is no easy task doing one’s own housekeeping and laundry after coming home from an exhausting day of studies, tutorials and assignments. They opined that time saved on doing these household chores could be better utilized on studying and preparing for the next hectic day at college.
Safety issues were raised, especially by the parents during the interviews. They felt that there is minimal or no security provided at many of these residential areas and students must look after themselves and their properties to avoid getting into unwanted situations or incidents. This has caused anxiety among parents as they felt that it is dangerous for students....
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