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Government unveils $150m for students accommodation

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2019 at 05:56hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has secured $150 million for the construction of students' hostels at three local universities to ease accommodation challenges, a senior official has said.

Lupane State University, Gwanda State University and Marondera State University will each get $50 million for students' accommodation construction.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Permanent Secretary Professor Fanuel Tagwira told The Chronicle that his Ministry was engaging the private sector in construction works for higher and tertiary institutions.

He said Government was concerned about inadequate accommodation facilities affecting students at universities.

"What the Ministry is doing is that we have taken a totally new approach to the issue of student accommodation. We are now saying let industry come and partner with us on a Public Private Partnership (PPPs) basis to create student housing. And I'm glad that a number of industries have come forward. We have received a lot of support from CBZ which we have channelled to Gwanda, Marondera and Lupane universities ($50 million each)," he said.

"We are very much concerned about the fact that most of our students stay in communities they don't know, we don't know the conditions under which they are living. Many parents, we know are very concerned, they want their children to find a place to stay in campus and we are working hard to make sure that this happens."  

Prof Tagwira said Government is in negotiations with another company for the construction of students' hostels at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).

Most students in local universities are living in unfavourable conditions due to a shortage of accommodation at their campuses.  

Prof Tagwira said a similar approach is being adopted to complete unfinished buildings at local universities such as Nust.  He said the Ministry is impressed that universities have embraced their innovation and industrialisation role as required by Government.

"Our Minister (Professor Amon Murwira) has been a very good ambassador for innovation and industrialisation. He has taken the message to most of our universities. Many of them have caught up with the vision, especially the big universities —University of Zimbabwe, Nust, Midlands State University and even private universities like Africa University have caught up with that vision," Prof Tagwira said.  

He said as innovation hubs are nearing completion, students should be ready to express their creativity for economic transformation.

Source - chronicle