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Development tackles lack of student accommodation

Feb 16 2016 12:25

Cape Town - A new residence building in Mowbray will go some way towards addressing the student housing crisis gripping the Western Cape.

Nationally, current student housing can only accommodate approximately 18% of the total student enrolments in higher education, according to the Department of Higher Education. Student accommodation across the country, and in the Western Cape in particular, is in high demand, with new developments needed to match the growing numbers of students entering tertiary education each year.  

“The student housing crisis is often ignored and yet it can play a significant role in the success of students,” said Evert Lategan, managing director of Integrated Solutions, the project construction management company overseeing the development of the new building.

“The focus seems always to be on the costs of tuition, books and equipment and while this is a real concern, the issue of student housing and its impact on the ability of students from all communities to study is overlooked. It is not just a matter of cost. If there are too few accommodation units, where are the students supposed to go?”

According to the Department of Education, 171 755 matriculants achieved entrance to bachelor’s degrees, 173 292 to national diplomas and 94 540 to higher certificates in 2013. Those figures are likely to grow exponentially over the next few years as universities widen access to higher education and demand increases.

The new CampusKey building, a redevelopment which saw the previous video store, movie theatre, editing studio, bar and grocery store being demolished, offers accommodation for 610 students in single rooms. The new units are planned for affordability.

In addition, such redevelopments play a vital role in urban regeneration, often transforming previously neglected buildings.

cape town  |  students  |  accommodation  |  property

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