UOW student accommodation closures in 2021
Sense of community preserved as COVID-19 impacts occupancy rates
The University of Wollongong (UOW) will temporarily close two student accommodation residences throughout 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19 on occupancy rates.
The residences set to close are Weerona College, located adjacent to Beaton Park Leisure Centre on Throsby Drive Gwynneville and International House, located near North Wollongong railway station at the corner of Porter and Hindmarsh Avenues.
Students who are currently residing in these residences will stay in their accommodation until the end of 2020 and then be offered alternative options for 2021.
Theresa Hoynes, Director of Student Services and Accommodation at UOW, says the impact of COVID-19 has been far-reaching.
“International travel restrictions have limited the number of students staying in Australia to study and many domestic students have opted to return home due to remote learning,” she said.
“This means that occupancy rates in residences are low and the sense of community that our students enjoy has been affected.”
UOW currently has no plans to close any other student accommodation residences next year.
“We understand this will be disappointing for students living in Weerona College and International House,” Ms Hoynes said. “However, moving students to other residences will give us a better chance to create the vibrant student community that our residences are known for.”
A 10 per cent reduction in accommodation fees will be offered to affected students from Weerona College and International House who choose to stay at any other UOW residence in 2021 (students must apply by 15 October 2020 to qualify for this discount).
Some UOW staff working at International House and Weerona College may be moved to other sites and in line with recent agreement reached with local unions, there will be no forced redundancies among staff as a result of the closures.
UOW is working closely with Chartwells, the catering contractor for its student accommodation facilities, to help to minimise impacts, including offering catering at Campus East. This may result in some of Chartwell’s staff changing sites.
Once closed, UOW Security will continue to monitor and patrol the properties and the buildings and grounds will continue to be maintained.
The University will be closely monitoring the unfolding situation regarding international student movements and revaluate the re-opening of these student residences beyond 2021.