PhD students’ housing experiences in suburban Sydney, Australia.

Ruming, K. and R. Dowling (2017). "PhD students’ housing experiences in suburban Sydney, Australia." Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 32(4): 805-825.

The place of student housing in the built environment and everyday life of the city has been the focus of much research. Much of this literature has focused on the experiences and impacts of undergraduate student populations. We bring to the debate a different cohort of students—those undertaking PhDs. Drawing on 30 interviews with PhD students living in Parramatta, Sydney, we position PhD students as a fundamentally different student cohort with distinct housing needs and experiences. PhD students experience a strong connection to their university as their workplace and require their housing to facilitate this relationship. The nature of the student/university relationship and the different family/age composition results in different housing needs compared to undergraduate students. Simultaneously, given that many, primarily international, PhD students live in the private rental sector, they represent a distinct sub-category of the low-income private rental market at risk of extreme housing stress.

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