University converts College

The University of Otago’s boutique Executive Residence is now being used as student accommodation...
The University of Otago’s boutique Executive Residence is now being used as student accommodation. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
The University of Otago has converted accommodation to house more students to meet increased demand for places in residential halls.

The university has added 194 additional beds for undergraduates in total, the majority of which come from Caroline Freeman College East, formerly known as Abbey College, accommodation previously reserved for postgraduate students.

Chief operating officer Stephen Willis said the extra rooms were added in response to increased demand for first-year accommodation ‘‘post-Covid’’.

Some of the College rooms were twin rooms.

‘‘This has the double benefit of making college accommodation more affordable for those willing to share a room and means that we can offer a college place to more students on our waiting list.’’

In an email to students about the availability of twin rooms it recognised ‘‘in the current environment’’ some students and their families would be concerned about the cost of paying for a single room.

The twin rooms cost $120 less per week than two single rooms.

The decision to repurpose Abbey College, which involved a renovation, was a result of an expected drop in on-campus postgraduate students due to the pandemic, combined with rising demand for undergraduate accommodation.

The university also repurposed 24 rooms in its Executive Residence which feature en suite bathrooms and queen size beds.

- By Wyatt Ryder

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