Live and learn at city centre campus

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
Scape launched in Australia in 2013 and has since become the biggest purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) owner and operator. 

Australia’s largest owner and operator of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), Scape, has partnered with RMIT Training, a leading Melbourne international education provider, to create a unique opportunity for students. 

Scape and RMIT Training, an RMIT University owned company that offers English language and Foundation Studies pathways, will share the existing $500 million Scape Franklin building in Melbourne’s Franklin Street to combine student accommodation and education facilities, creating the ultimate environment for students to thrive.  

Scape Australia’s Founder and Managing Director Stephen Gaitanos says Scape was excited to join forces with RMIT Training on “the next frontier in pathways to student success”. 

Gaitanos told EducationDaily Scape Franklin represents “the first time the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector and Scape, as the leader, and a university, have partnered for a joint campus/accommodation hybrid”.

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“The design of the campus is cutting-edge too.”

He says that design – featuring student accommodation and education facilities in the same tower – includes shared facilities and entrance, “and really does highlight the benefits of a ‘live and learn’ campus”. 

Scape Australia’s Founder and Managing Director, Stephen Gaitanos.

“We are thrilled to work closely with RMIT Training to co-create this new environment. PBSA provides a more wholistic living environment for students so the more opportunities we can co-create with education partners to support their students to succeed while they’re studying, the better.” 

Greater connectivity to community

With approximately 30 per cent of all international students at RMIT University progressing through RMIT Training, RMIT Training Chief Executive Officer Jake Heinrich says the new location’s close proximity to RMIT University’s city campus allows students even greater connectivity with the university precinct and community. 

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“As well as access to world-class teaching, learning and accommodation facilities, students can enjoy all the benefits of having the main campus, basketball courts, public transport and Queen Victoria Market right on their doorstep,” he says. 

RMIT Training has leased the 10,000-square-metre building from Scape on a 15-year term, with Scape developing the levels to RMIT Training’s requirements, including co-working spaces, art studios, wet labs and student well-being lounges. The new RMIT Training campus at Scape Franklin is set to open in late August 2024.

Scape acquired the 2,000-square-metre site in Melbourne CBD’s education precinct in 2016 and has since developed Scape Franklin, a mixed-use venture comprising 940 student beds across a mix of shared apartments and studios of various sizes. Extensive communal space includes study areas, lounges, a cinema, gaming rooms, terraces, barbeque areas and some of Melbourne’s best city scape views. 

The campus also houses three retail spaces at ground level, including a café, Frankie’s Coffee, which has been operating since April 2022. Scape is targeting other food and beverage operators for the remaining tenancies. 

Home away from home for international students

Gaitanos says the new development will accommodate 941 students for accommodation and 1600 on the campus, with features focused on “resident well-being and living well”. 

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Some of these include: 

  • All utilities included
  • Lightning-fast WI-FI. 
  • 24/7 access to support services via Scape’s Sonder Safety App for peace of mind. 
  • An extensive events program
  • Outdoor living spaces including rooftops, terraces, and courtyards
  • Curated spaces for solo or group study sessions
  • Laundry facilities
  • 24/7 gym
  • Social lounge
  • Cinema
  • Communal kitchen & dining area
  • Gaming zone
  • Music studio

Gaitanos says the new campus would be particularly suited to international students enrolled in pathway courses in myriad fields, from architecture and design to health and psychology.  

“The nature of RMIT Training’s pathway courses is that students are en route to the next chapter in their education journey, their next degree or to their dream course,” he says.  

“Being set up for success with an enhanced support offering and further opportunities for focus is crucial to their success.” 

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]