International students at NTU will be guaranteed accommodation, parenting and education news and top stories

Any international student from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) who has applied for a place in a hostel will be guaranteed accommodation.

NTU’s decision will come as a relief for foreign students who had returned home and relinquished their hostel room for the school holidays.

Last Thursday, in a shocking move, NTU initially announced that occupancy of the room should be reduced to facilitate the isolation of Covid-19 and other related purposes. This sent thousands of residents, many of whom were international students with no local address, to scramble to find alternative accommodation before the start of the school year next month.

But the school overturned the decision a day later, and international students who are currently residents were told they could keep their places.

In the latest email to students, the school said international students who are currently or returning to residence would be given priority on an “exceptional basis”, due to the difficulty of securing off-campus accommodation.

More than 130 international students had signed an open letter to the school asking for hostel accommodation since Saturday.

One, a third-year computer science student who only wanted to be known as Louis, said he felt “secure and secure” with the latest turn of events.

Off-campus accommodation would have cost around $ 1,000, nearly three times the price of a hostel room at NTU, the Chinese student said. He will return to Singapore on July 25.

But some students like Meghan Poh, 21, an Art, Design and Media student, remain nervous because they have not been “guaranteed” places in the hostel.

The sophomore said, “A lot of local cases go unaddressed, like abusive households. They panic and that’s a big problem that still exists.”

Miss Poh said 64 students responded to a survey in which they said they needed housing due to issues at home or did not have a local residence.

In a statement to the Straits Times, a spokesperson for NTU said there was an “unprecedented increase” in demand for places in youth hostels which were oversubscribed by 35%. It is understood that this is based on the current limited capacity due to the Covid-19 measures.

“More students are staying in Singapore as overseas exchanges and internships have been suspended due to global travel restrictions. More and more students are also looking to live in residence on campus during this time,” he said. declared the spokesperson.

“We will look at the needs of students who are having difficulty and see how we can help them,” he added.

The school told students in an email that more than 1,200 places were missing this year, even at full capacity, and advised those in need of accommodation to contact relevant staff in their faculties to acquire help.

NTU has approximately 14,000 vacant units at full capacity.

Unsuccessful applicants will be reimbursed their $ 16.05 administration fee, the Students Union announced yesterday.

Meanwhile, NTU said it will increase the operating hours of the Novena, Sengkang and Tampines shuttles to campus from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. during school time, as well as the frequency of shuttles between Pioneer MRT and campus during school hours. morning rush hour from 7:30 a.m. from morning to 10 a.m. starting next month.

“More than 1,300 students are expected to benefit from the improved shuttle services daily,” the spokesperson said.

• Additional reports from Yuen Sin

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