Female Graduate Students’ Perception of the Relationships between the Residence Hall and the Home

  •  Fatemeh Khozaei    
  •  Dolapo Amole    
  •  Ahmad Sanusi Hassan    
  •  Zahra Khozaei    


University students’ housing has received a good deal of emphasis in previous research. Much of this early research focused on the relationship between the environment, facilities, residence hall layout and students’ satisfaction. The current study tried to view students’ housing from a different perspective. It hypothesized that when students perceive the attributes of the home in the university (which we call sense of similarity to the home) residence hall their satisfaction with residence is improved. The current paper is based on the premise that the home is a multidimensional construct. It examined whether the residence hall is also multidimensional in the way it is described by the students. The study also aimed to understand the students’ perception of the attributes which make the residence hall similar to the home. This paper which reported the results of a pilot study on graduate female students was a qualitative study which employed an inductive approach. Eighteen (18) individual unstructured interviews were conducted with female graduate students who were living in a university residence hall March to May 2010. Twenty (20) open ended questionnaires were distributed among students of this residence hall who were not willing to be interviewed. The selected residence were occupied by graduate (both national and international) students and had single rooms with a shared bath room for each pair of rooms. Participants were, selected according to their university year, age, cultural background and nationality. The analysis carried out revealed that there were 4 major themes: Physical facilities and Comfort; Security; Privacy; and Warmth and Friendly Environment. These themes revealed the students’ perceptions of the attributes which make the residence hall comparable to the home environment. It was found that when students were asked to talk about a residence hall in terms of a home, they usually compared the present residence hall with their own home. The results also revealed that their comparisons of home and the residence hall were highly dependent on their background and previous experiences and were indicative of satisfaction with their current accommodation.


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