The University of Fort Hare unveiled two new student residences at their Alice campus in the Eastern Cape at a roof-wetting event attended by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Doctor Mvuyo Tom, the newly appointed SRC president, Busisiwe Mashiqa, and a number of important Fort Hare delegates. The residences, which are being built by student accommodation group, STAG African, will help address the major accommodation shortage at the university.
Fort Hare’s lack of accommodation continues to be one of its biggest challenges, with university-owned residences only able to accommodate 34% of its student population. “As we gear up for our centenary celebrations, we recognised the critical need for accommodation and ear marked it as one of our most important goals for 2015. Good accommodation is vital for the success of our students; we cannot expect them to pass and do well if their living conditions are less than adequate,” Doctor Mvuyo Tom, Vice Chancellor University of Fort Hare said.
The residences, which are currently under construction and due for completion in September this year, will house 122 students. “We need to grow the number of beds at the institution, so we can deal with the high demand for student housing. It is particularly crucial that we achieve this, given the geographical location of Fort Hare, which is located in the remote town of Alice,” Tom added.
Democratic Alliance lead, Fort Hare SRC president Busisiwe Mashiqa welcomed the new residences; “The state of student accommodation is a major concern and something that we would like addressed as a priority; students cannot be expected to pass if their accommodation needs are not met. Accommodation at the university has needed upgrading for a number of years now”
The new buildings will see the students being housed in attractive and functional residences, which will cater for their academic needs through recreational and study areas. “Our vision for this development is to create a living, listening and learning environment,” John Schooling, Director of STAG African said. “The development goes beyond just providing accommodation; it creates a sense of community and a feeling of belonging, this is closely linked to student success.”
Over the past six years, STAG African has provided more than 1 055 beds to universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges across the country. Over and above the University of Fort Hare residences, they recently completed a 240-bed residence at Walter Sisulu University’s Nelson Mandela Drive Campus in Mthatha and they are currently working towards the completion of a 200-bed residence at Stellenbosch’s Tygerburg campus.
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications
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Director: John Schooling