NTU opens more spots for on-campus housing after 'careful review'; guarantees placement for Year 1 and 2 students
SINGAPORE: The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) said on Friday (Jul 2) it has opened up more places for on-campus housing, one day after sending rejection emails saying that hall occupancy would be reduced due to the COVID-19 situation.
The earlier announcement on Thursday - which also told applicants already staying on campus to vacate their rooms by Jul 15 - had left local and international students scrambling for alternative lodging.
A petition on Change.org calling for NTU to reconsider its decision had more than 5,500 signatures as of 5pm on Friday.
In an update on Friday afternoon, the university said it has since "carefully reviewed" the hall capacity.
"We have opened up more hall places and reached out to newly successful applicants today," said NTU in a statement.
"All applicants who will be in Year 1 and 2 in the upcoming academic year will get a hall place in line with the two-year guaranteed hall stay guideline," said an NTU spokesperson.
"International students who are currently hall residents will also continue to keep their hall places, on an exceptional basis, regardless of their hall points, in view of the challenges to secure alternative off-campus housing due to COVID-19," the spokesperson added.
Additionally, active hall residents who have full points for hall participation will also be allocated placement, the statement read.
READ: Some NTU students fail to secure on-campus housing due to quota ‘imposed by authorities’, international students stranded
In the rejection emails sent out early on Thursday to students who had applied for residential hall accommodation, the university said there was a cap on the number of students staying in the halls "imposed by the authorities" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fewer rooms were available because of the need to reserve a certain number for COVID-19 isolation and other related purposes, the university had said.
NTU’s hall allocation is dependent on a point system, and the cut-off point is determined by demand and supply.
The maximum number of points a student can get is nine. If a student accumulates more points, they have a higher chance of securing a room on campus.
The university saw "exceptionally strong demand" for hall places for the upcoming academic year, said NTU in its statement on Friday.
"In previous years, we were also unable to accommodate all applicants for hall places when demand was higher than expected," the spokesperson added.
"As per previous years, any new vacancies arising from those who change their minds about staying on campus will be offered to unsuccessful applicants through balloting at a later date.
"We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will continue to review the hall capacity to allow more students to stay on campus, where possible. Applicants will progressively be informed if a hall place is allocated to them."