R300m for student accommodation in UNIVEN

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pretoria - The University of Venda (UNIVEN) will soon be able to accommodate more students, thanks to a R300-million loan agreement for the construction of student accommodation.

UNIVEN and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) recently signed the agreement for the construction of student accommodation on campus.

The agreement will enable the university to provide approximately 50% to 70% of its total enrolment with accommodation on campus over the next 10-15 years.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UNIVEN, Professor Peter Mbati, said the construction of more residences on campus will impact positively on the quality of student lives and contribute to the university’s academic core project.

“After completion, the project will have a significant impact on increasing the number of students residing on campus from 18% of the university’s total enrolment to 33%,” said Mbati.

DBSA Group Executive: Infrastructure Financing, Tshokolo Nchocho, said international research has shown that on-campus student accommodation is one of the key critical success factors in student performance and increased university throughput.

Nchocho said the expected increase in student enrolment will require significant investment in higher education infrastructure, given the current economic constraints on fiscal policy, as well as pressure on universities to keep student fee increases to a minimum.

“The Development Bank has, in line with the National Development Plan, identified higher education infrastructure as one of the primary pillars to be considered to support the government’s development agenda,” said Nchocho.

Chairperson of the university council, Shirley Mabusela, expressed her appreciation for the partnership and her wish to see a more long-term relationship between the university and DBSA. – SAnews.gov.za

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