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FNU to review accommodation policy

January 24, 2019 7:28 am

The Fiji National University is under pressure following a huge demand from students seeking accommodation at its hostels around the country.

Vice Chancellor Nigel Healey says the current policy only gives priority to first-year students who live outside the proximity of the college they study in.

The FNU’s Halls of residence policy was last reviewed in 2017 and he believes it’s time to revise it to include students with disabilities.

Speaking to FBC News, Healey says the policy may be a bit blunt.

“The current policy is allocating spaces on the basis of the distance from campus only and we think that when we’re coming under pressure, we may need to have a slightly more finally tuned priority where students who are particularly disadvantaged have preferential access. For example, students who perhaps are disabled and can’t travel to campus even though they might live only 10km away might fall into that category.”

FBC News sought clarification from the Vice Chancellor after concerns were raised by a partially visually impaired female student that she’s been refused accommodation at the campus because of her disability.

The student who wished to remain anonymous claims the University has advised her that the hostel is not safe for her.

Meanwhile, priorities are given to international and regional students and those sponsored by other agencies while the third priority is given to private students.

However, this list does not include people with disabilities and this needs to be changed.

“The obvious group that we’re looking at the moment is the first year students are more disadvantaged than second or third year students. We can’t make that change immediately as the current policy was widely discussed and agreed by the university and the students so we will review that policy in the next few weeks.”

The halls of residence are provided through ten campuses including eight in the Central Division and two in the West.