The University of Melbourne aims to increase substantially the provision of accommodation for its students following its purchase of the former Salvation Army Training College in Royal Parade, Parkville.  

The purchase is part of the University’s strategy to provide at least 2,000 new student beds by 2020.

The site comprises an 11-storey tower at 303-305 Royal Parade and five terrace houses at 80-90 The Avenue.

Surrounded by parklands, the sites will provide safe affordable and good quality residential student accommodation within walking-distance of the Parkville campus.

Once re-developed they will provide an extra 200-300 beds, potentially by as early as 2016.

The University’s Senior Vice-Principal Mr Ian Marshman said the purchase was in line with the University’s ambition to offer a student experience of unmatched quality.

“Securing these buildings is about more than increasing the University’s volume of student beds: they will support its central educational, engagement and equity mission,” he said.

“Affordable student housing is essential to the student experience, and the cost of accommodation is one of the key factors adversely affecting it.

“These new facilities will further the University’s reputation as an internationally outstanding institution at which to study and work.”

Mr Marshman also thanked the Salvation Army for choosing to sell its property to the University.

“This was a rare opportunity to secure an appropriate property near the Parkville Campus, and we thank the Salvation Army for supporting our students and the University in selling it to us,” he said.

“Their decision will benefit generations of future students.”