THE UNIVERSITY of Rwanda has called on real estate investors to consider investing in student hostels so as to provide affordable boarding facilities to university students across the country.
The move, according to university officials, will help address the accommodation challenge due to the growing number of students.
Elias Kiyaga, the university’s public relations officer, said putting up boarding facilities and hostels would help solve the plight of students who live far away from campuses.
He said the university is ready to collaborate with real estate developers willing to take advantage of the opportunity.
“It would attract more students to our colleges. Most of the students live outside their respective campuses which is a big challenge because they end up spending a lot of time and money moving back and forth,” Kiyaga said.
Lack of affordable accommodation close to university premises has for long been a serious concern among students.
Odette Ingabire, a second year Business Administration student at the College of Business and Economics (CBE), told this paper that due to lack of affordable housing, she has to commute from Nyandungu to the university daily, which is not only time consuming but also expensive.
“The available facilities at the university cannot accommodate most of us, so we have to go back and forth which consumes a lot of time. Having hostels nearby would help improve the welfare and performance of many students,” Ingabire said.
Following the merger of the institution last year, the University of Rwanda admitted close to 10,000 students in six colleges and 10 campuses.
However, Charles Haba, the president of the Real Estate association of Rwanda said real estate developers are reluctant to invest in hostels and boarding facilities because they are less profitable.
“The reason you do not see investors venturing into that field is because most of the universities are located in prime areas which attract the working population who can afford accommodation in these prime locations,” Haba said.