It is with great pleasure for me to be taking this opportunity to inform you of the generous donation we received from Mr and Mrs Nagdee. The Nagdee family donated a block of flats in Kuilsriver to be used for student accommodation and it is with deep gratitude that we accept this donation. As you know, student accommodation is a vexing challenge for the higher education sector nation-wide and it remains a high priority for us at UWC. We are therefore grateful for the gesture of goodwill by the Nagdee family.
Having accepted this donation, the University will now undertake a process to fully acquire the property. This includes a process of engagement with the current tenants and relevant authorities for the transfer of ownership of the property. We also need to prepare the flats appropriately for student accommodation as it was originally not meant for this purpose. In addition, safety and security considerations, transport, IT infrastructure and related needs must be factored for the students who will reside in this residence. All of these will require of us to exercise some patience as these processes may take some time before students can be accommodated in these flats.
I wish to reassure the University community of our commitment to address the challenge of student accommodation. We are unflinching in our commitment to provide quality and affordable accommodation to contribute to student success. In this regard, I am delighted to inform you of other initiatives we have embarked upon to address this challenge:
UWC has recently, with the financial support from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), bought land in the surrounding area to be used for, among others, student accommodation.
We are exploring lease options from property owners in the sub-region.
In addition, the University has been selected to be one of the six (6) universities to participate in the DHET feasibility study on a student housing infrastructure investment programme. The feasibility study will explore optimum scale of development, financial models and opportunities to increase affordable student accommodation.
The donation by the Nagdee family and the initiatives indicated above will go a long way to alleviate the pressure on student accommodation in the short, medium and long term. We will continue to update the campus community on further developments.
Prof. Pamela Dube
Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Development and Support
27 September 2016