The hostel need of the students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong


Kan, Angela W. S

TitleThe hostel need of the students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
PublisherSocial Research Center, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Publication DateJune, 1974

Student housing

Abstract/ Concluding Remarks:Throughout this study, we have address ourselves to the question of to what extent a campus residence rate higher than the current one should be adopted in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This study was set out to frame together a picture of essentially how the students of the University live. Our mission has been the collection of a set of relevant facts which hitherto have not been systematically available to serve as reference for authorities concerned with determining to what extent the University needs to build more student hostels.

Major findings
The demand for hostels is highly, though not totally, affected by the housing and transportation problems of Hong Kong. The analysis developed from these two angles has given us some concrete and objective data t o assess the degree of need for providing hostel accommodation to students. With few exceptions, anywhere from approximately one-third to four-fifths of our students from various types of housing have homes offering no more than 45 square feet floor space per person. Since most of the students have to either share a bedroom with others or sleep in all sorts of places other than a bedroom, they are almost as a rule subject to an array of inconveniences and disturbances which make studying difficult.

Such unfavourable living conditions are aggravated by the inconveniences resulting from commuting. Having to spend as much as three hours a day commuting between home and campus is quite common among our students if they do not obtain hostel accommodation. Moreover, as many as two-thirds of those who currently live at home have to undergo three or more trip-legs each way.
To provide a "short-hand" way of measuring the degree to which our students can be considered as in need of hostel accommodation, a composite and additive Hostel Need Index was constructed and index scores for our respondents were computed, taking into account such aspects as travel time between students' homes and campus, floor space per person and types of sleeping place. Living a t homes well over an hour away from campus with little average floor space per person (such as not more than 45 square feet per person) and with no adequate bedroom to sleep in, together with various other relatively ' deprived' conditions, is clearly indicative of substantial need for hostel accommodation. Our findings showed that about three-quarters of our respondents can be considered as belonging to such a level of hostel need.

The group identification that was built into the questionnaire allowed us to compare the seriousness of hostel need among hostel residents, those who applied for hostels but were rejected, and those who did not apply. We can also identify the seriousness of hostel need among those staying at home and those residing at other residences. The findings support the proposition that those students who have not applied for hostel accommodation are not necessarily those who need no such accommodation on campus. High hostel need is prevalent among students regardless o f whether the student is currently residing in a hostel on campus or at home, or whether he has applied for hostel accommodation or not,

The findings concerning the living conditions of students currently living in other residences (mostly in Shatin and Taipo) shows that such places offer little or no improvement over conditions at home, other than that they are closer to the University ( i , e., Shatin and Taipo). These alternative accommodations incur higher costs relative to hostels and engender problems of their own (e.g., inconvenience for girls, safety considerations, sanitation facilities in certain places, etc.). Consequently, alternative off-campus accommodation can only relieve the "need" problem to a very limited degree, and the "need to live on campus" becomes both substantial and pressing.
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