Determinants of Student Satisfaction with Campus Residence Life at a South African University

7 November 2013
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: I0, I21, I31

Although there are a number of studies on the determinants of general quality of life among university students, these occur mainly in developed countries and do not focus specifically on campus-based residence life. It has long been accepted that factors outside the classroom (“the other curriculum”) can contribute to academic success, as well as the achievement of other important outcomes such as the appreciation of human diversity. Striving towards equality of residence life satisfaction across different racial and gender groups, for example, is thus important for academic outcomes and for the development of well-functioning citizens. This study is based on the 2011 Quality of Residence Life (QoRL) Survey, conducted at a South African university, comprising roughly 2 000 respondents. Based on descriptive analyses and ordered probit regressions, the study investigates the association between satisfaction with QoRL and (i) residence milieu and characteristics, (ii) direct and indirect discrimination, (iii) perceptions of drug and alcohol issues in residence, (iv) safety, and (v) individual student characteristics. One of the main findings is that there are no significant differences in satisfaction with QoRL across racial and gender groups; a finding that suggests significant progress in university transformation and equity goals. The general atmosphere and characteristics of residences are also important predictors of QoRL satisfaction.

Working paper 388
1 November 2013
Journal: Social Indicators Research Series