Accommodation crisis at UKZN

2008-02-20 00:00

Yesterday’s front-page lead story told of the dire lack of residential accommodation for students on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Students reported that although the university management had promised them accommodation before they arrived a fortnight ago to begin the new academic year, this had not materialised for many of them. Those not able to squat in friends’ rooms or stay with nearby relatives or friends, are sleeping in public rooms on campus. It’s not difficult to imagine the effect of this uncertain, hand-to-mouth rough living on the emotional and intellectual wellbeing of the students concerned. Their studies will suffer and, if this state of affairs is prolonged, their futures could be jeopardised.

Of course, changing times have produced a greater demand for residential accommodation than hitherto. Student numbers have risen and as the proportion of the student body living at home in Pietermaritzburg and commuting to classes has dwindled, so increasing numbers are coming from farther away, including many from other African countries. Few of these students are affluent and most need affordable accommodation within easy reach of academic departments and the library.

The university, clamouring for “transformation”, eager to become thoroughly African, encouraged — indeed, insisted upon — these changes in students numbers and demographics. Why, then, did it not at the same time plan for them adequately and why did it not, as a matter of urgency, fund the building or purchase of the necessary residential accommodation? This lack of foresight reflects very badly on the university. Observers might be forgiven for thinking that those now running UKZN have become too arrogant and self-involved to bother with the physical and mental welfare of students — something of a mistake, if so, for without students a university cannot exist.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.