By Kenson McCloud
In bid to reduce accommodation woes in public universities, Old Mutual Group has unveiled a first of its kind 154 bed hostel which will accommodate Kamuzu University of Health Sciences students under the public, private partnership framework.
Old Mutual and government partnered in the MWK2.6 Billion project whose construction works commenced in August last year.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje said meeting ever growing demand for accommodation in public universities is crucial as it ensures provision of quality tertiary education.
Nyalonje says her ministry is equally concerned with the dire situation in many public universities which has forced many students to look for appalling accommodation elsewhere.
According to Nyalonje, the hostel will ease existing pressure on bed space and increase enrolment in tertiary education which she says is lowest in the world at the moment.
She further commended Old Mutual Group for completing the project on time and within budget, a move the Minister suggests should be emulated by others in public and private sectors.
In her remarks, Chief Executive Officer for Old Mutual Malawi, Edith Jiya said the company is committed to pursuing investments that have direct impact to the needs of communities.
Jiya said through the partnership, the firm intends to construct 4000 more bed spaces at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).
However, she said there is need for continued engagement with stakeholders to ensure that the initiatives are affordable and sustainable.
KUHeS currently enrols 3035 students but only 43% have access to accommodation.