Emerging Tertiary System
The postgraduate student market has changed significantly. Gone are the days when a bachelor degree was enough to provide a competitive advantage in the job market and international employability.
Throughout the world, universities now advocate a three or four-year undergraduate program with advanced courses taught in a two-year master’s degree or a three-year PhD.
This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of postgraduate students in Australia, with 51% of students at The University of Melbourne alone, now being enrolled in postgraduate studies.
Australian universities must ensure that the next generation of professionals are adequately prepared at international standards and seen as globally competitive.
Employers in the major disciplines of law, business, medicine, engineering, science, technology and education are now increasingly expecting postgraduate qualifications from job candidates.
With this pressing demand from employers comes the need for additional services and supportive infrastructure.
The Graduate Union and Graduate House are renowned for providing support and high quality accommodation to postgraduate students.
Isolation and Depression
The postgraduate student often experiences isolation and loneliness because of their solitary work. In addition to this challenge, many have no choice but to experience further isolation by living in painfully small, unimaginative and expensive bedsits far from their campus.
These living arrangements are often unhygienic, unsafe and can significantly contribute to mental health and negative situational factors such as time management, which the main reasons for considering early departure from studies (The 2015 Student Experience Survey National Report by QILT).
Sadly, this stress can sometimes lead to more serious issues such as severe depression and suicide.
This can impact negatively on the student’s experience, their view of Melbourne and their academic results.
Despite the overwhelmingly large number of postgraduate students occupying Australian universities, almost all collegiate accommodation options are primarily for undergraduates.
The many colleges that do have dual accommodation face the challenge of managing cohesion between these two groups whose priorities, needs and experiences differ considerably. The social experience of the undergraduate collective can cause great stress and distraction to postgraduates.
Currently, Graduate House has a long waiting list.
The Diamond Jubilee building development will double our provision of a mature, supportive and safe collegiate environment for postgraduate students and visiting academics.
Our Diamond Jubilee Building Campaign is about addressing the transformation of education with the necessary support systems. For the fortunate graduates who live at Graduate house, negative situational factors are greatly minimised through inclusiveness and the provision of healthy meals, utilities and amenities. Graduate House provides postgraduate students with a unique and appropriately balanced lifestyle customised to their distinctive needs.
“Graduate House made me realise that although my study was solitary, I didn’t have to feel alone. It is a home away from home: I call it my second home.”