Live the college life without living on campus

By Barbara Legaspi

University students who live on campus are more engaged and develop better,  a study has found.

Almost all those who took part would recommend it to other students,  among findings of the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement.

Pegasus Deputy College Head, Dr Andrew Johnson, with members of the new college.
Pegasus Deputy College Head, Dr Andrew Johnson (right), with members of the new college.

Monash University last year established four non-residential colleges to enhance students’ social and academic experience throughout their tertiary education, without the need to live on campus.

Caulfield campus hosts Pegasus and Phoenix colleges, while the Clayton campus hosts Centaurus and Orion colleges.

 Non-residential colleges are about having a “different kind of experience” at university, says Olivia Clarke, Phoenix College’s student adviser.

“Advisers work in organising the members who are in their group (called clusters) and we get to work, bring the students together and basically form relationships with them.

“Also, all the advisers are a great support network for each other.”

College life
Monash University’s colleges.

 A non-residential college functions like a club where students can meet new people, take part in sporting activities and attend social events.

 Each college will have about 250 members, 20 college advisers (all senior students) and three members of academic staff.

“I’ve done and experienced a lot of things that I wouldn’t have without being in [a non-residential college]”, Ms Clarke says.

 “Being a part of something that’s trying to achieve unity within the university” is important, she says.

 The non-residential colleges host the first annual ball for the university, the Cross College Ball, to  be held on April 3.

 “It’s just about mingling with students in a fancy, dressy setting,” Ms Clarke says.