Two University of Wollongong student accommodation residences will temporarily close in 2021.
The impact of COVID-19 on occupancy rates has forced UOW to close Weerona College in Gwynneville and International House, located near North Wollongong railway station at the corner of Porter and Hindmarsh avenues.
The closure will affect about 400 students.
Weerona has about 200 places (35 shared rooms and 135 single rooms) and International House is the oldest residence, catering for about 220 students.
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.
This means that occupancy rates in residences are low and the sense of community that our students enjoy has been affected.
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.
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 October 15, 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 a recent agreement reached with local unions, there will be no forced redundancies among staff as a result of the closures.