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Examination of student housing preferences, their similarities and differences

Fatemeh Khozaei (School of Housing Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Ahmad Sanusi Hassan (School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Kheir Al Kodmany (College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Yasser Aarab (School of Housing, Building and Planning, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 4 August 2014




The aim of this paper is to identify the university student’s preferences for some important attributes of residence hall design. The study also attempts to highlight the differences and similarities in student’s preferences.


The survey was distributed among students who were living in residence halls of a public university in Malaysia. A total of 752 students were recruited as participants. Data were collected using a self-administrated questionnaire. Students were asked to indicate their preferences rating a 4-point scale. The survey included questions concerning students’ preferences for residing in traditional and suite-style residence halls, single room and double room as well as rooms in which each student’s area is marked clearly. Collected data were analysed using PASW Statistics 17.


The results indicated that, in total, students highly preferred residing in suite-style to traditional residence halls. Staying in a single room with shared bathroom was also preferred to double-sharing room. The results of study also indicated that living in a room in which each student ' s area is marked clearly is of great interest. The study proved significant differences in the students’ preferences based on their gender, nationality and study level.

Practical implications

The outcome of this study can enhance the awareness of residence hall organizers and architects with regard to some of students’ priorities.


The results give an important insight into student’s preferences towards their residence hall. The study provides statistic evidence unfavourably of traditional residence halls among the students of new generation. It also provides an insight into students ' greater needs and requirements for privacy.



Khozaei, F., Hassan, A.S., Al Kodmany, K. and Aarab, Y. (2014), "Examination of student housing preferences, their similarities and differences", Facilities, Vol. 32 No. 11/12, pp. 709-722.



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