Namibia: IUM Builds Own Hostel

Windhoek - The International University of Management (IUM), founded in 1994 with one student and a single lecturer, has grown its student population to 7 000 students with its own modern campus, to which it now intends to add a multi-million dollar hostel by September later this year.

As a result of its extraordinary growth the IUM now has 4 000 students at its two campuses in Windhoek, where it also has a multi-story campus and several local and expatriate lecturers. Founded by Dr David Namwandi, the Minister of Education, the IUM is one of the most successful stories of home grown enterpreneurship and the IUM is so highly regarded, that it has been able to recruit expatriate lecturers and students from the SADC region and beyond.

Considering the chronic shortage of accommodation in and around Windhoek and the exorbitant rental fees by ruthless landlords, the IUM has decided to build a hostel at its Dorado Campus for its ever increasing number of students. The hostel will comprise four three-story buildings with a total accommodation capacity of about 700 students.

"The total cost of the project is set at N$65.8 million. The construction costs for the first block, which should be completed in September 2013 is N$16 million," IUM Vice-Chancelor Virginia Namwandi told New Era. She said in the meantime, the IUM is using its own finances to build the hostel, but it has also approached various financiers for the funding of the capital-intensive project. "This is the financing model adopted for the 1st phase of the project when constructing the Dorado Park campus where we are currently housed," explained the vice-chancellor.

The construction of the entire hostel project is expected to be completed by November 2014 if all goes according to plan. "The benefits of the project are multi-fold and are entirely in the interests of the students. The students will save money by not having to pay the exorbitant rental fees charged by private providers and students will not have to struggle to find accommodation," Namwadi said.

She further said the proximity of the hostels to lecture halls means students will no longer have to pay for transportation to and from the university, adding that "since we have classes late into the evening we would like to ensure the safety of as many of our students as possible."

Currently some IUM students stay in private rented accommodation in and around Windhoek, while others live with relatives or friends who more often than not have to care for their own immediate families, which is not an ideal situation and therefore not a very conducive environment to study in.

"We have not encountered any challenges yet with construction and based on our experience with building the current campus building we do not expect to have any major challenges to overcome. Of course we cannot predict heavy rains, which often slow down construction, but heavy rains are the kind of challenge a desert country can only be grateful for," said the vice-chancellor. The construction of the hostel is a welcome move and will come as a great relief to students who feel their safety will be guaranteed or at least enhanced.

Sem Shapwa, a student at the IUM says they constantly risk being mugged on the way to flag down taxis or while footing to their homes located far away from the IUM. "Now, once the hostel is completed, students will have all the time in the world to study and be able to attend our evening classes," he said.

Another student, Anna Salomon, said student performance will improve, because they will not have to endure long distances that leave them exhausted before they even start classes. She added that the university should be applauded for being bold and continuously attending to student needs. The IUM also has campuses in Ongwediva, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. When it was started in 1994 it only offered accredited qualifications, until it was officially launched as a university in 2002 when it started offering its own qualifications.


Source :

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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