How The Demand For Student Accommodation Will Be Resolved

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There is a growing demand for student accommodation in institutions of higher learning. The good news is, there are plans in the pipeline to help deal with the demand.

 


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Public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) have in recent years shown a growing demand for student accommodation.

In mid-2022, the Department Higher Education and Training (DHET) revealed that it was reviewing and seeking to strengthen its infrastructure development strategy for the Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector, primarily focusing on student accommodation.

The department has since appointed implementation agents in cooperation with the government to increase the capacity to roll out infrastructure. In the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) final meeting of 2022, Higher Education Director General, Dr. Nkosinathi Sishi responded:

To swiftly deal with student accommodation problems, Higher Education has revised its student accommodation contracts with the Development Bank of Southern Africa, to ensure the contract allows for closer oversight and monitoring by DHET.

Currently, the Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande is having meetings with regard to Nsfas' plans to implement direct payments across the system for 2023 and to implement a new system for the management of student accommodation.

When engaging with stakeholders on student accommodation at a summit at the University of Mpumalanga, Nsfas CEO, Andile Nongogo said the government bursary scheme spends R13 billion on student accommodation.

There are also concerns about third parties receiving funds from students but providing poor services. Dr. Sishi has admitted that this is a problem and an area that needs improvement.

Higher Education has indicated that the Ministerial Task Team consultation was conducted by Nsfas on student accommodation norms and standards, including the improvement of TVET College student accommodation.

The government bursary scheme has called on institutions of higher learning, accommodation providers, developers, investors and all relevant individuals or groups who seek to apply for off-take agreements in the provision of student accommodation for Nsfas beneficiaries.

 

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