1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
According to Okoh (2004), Nigeria has the biggest university
system in sub-Saharan Africa with 114 accredited tertiary institutions.
More than 50% of these facilities have over 20,000 students each.
Nigerian universities have experienced a significant rise in student
enrolments over the past decades. However, the surge in students has
not been matched by a corresponding growth in student accommodation and
the available ones have not been properly managed. Figures from the
National Universities Commission show that the provision of student
housing is less than 30% of demand. The vast majority of students live
in privately rented accommodation.
Bulk of “first generation” universities in
Nigeria have stopped funding student accommodation. Many of the newer
universities have taken the private sector participation route,
although the quality of accommodation varies widely. The student
enrolment in tertiary institutions is growing at an average of 12% per
annum and the provision of new purpose-built student housing is
limited. This in itself creates opportunities for the development of
student housing in many cities in Nigeria.
Akpan (2000) suggests that developers could
partner with universities in build-operate-transfer arrangements on new
accommodation. There are also opportunities for better management of
existing accommodation. “While the majority of institutions may be
reluctant to give up control, the deteriorating condition of the
majority of university-owned halls of residence indicates the need to
manage these assets in a different way.” Student accommodation should
also have a strong focus on innovation and sustainability. “Developers
need to be innovative in their approach to design, supplying functional
accommodation, which incorporates the basic needs of students and
provides additional facilities and services including laundry, internet
services, relatively constant electricity, water supply, shuttle
services, etc. The university community should be at the forefront of
sustainability issues, this should be reflected in development and
management (FRN, 2008).”
Okoh (2004) added that in the future, the
availability, quality and cost of student accommodation on offer will
be a vital component for universities to lure good quality students.
The increasing number of students in tertiary institutions in several
Nigerian cities has caused serious accommodation problems and campus
hostels can no longer cope with demand. Establishment of private
hostels off-campus was initially perceived as a solution but landlords
have taken advantage of the high demand by upping rentals and students
are reeling under the financial burden. They have turned to the
government for help.
There has been steady growth in the student
population in tertiary institutions, most of which have been expanding
their teaching, administrative and research infrastructures. But no
effort has been made to provide more accommodation for students and
This has allegedly been a deliberate resource allocation policy,
with tertiary institutions - at the regional and national level -
uninterested in committing funding to accommodation (Akpan, 1998).
Many tertiary institutions possess large amounts of land on which
student hostels could be built. But it is claimed that private sector
figures on university governing councils have discouraged government
investment in building campus residences. Critics say that owners of
houses and land near campuses made proposals to university authorities
to build cheap and affordable accommodation for students. According to
reliable sources, some university officials obtained bank loans to build
hostels that are operated under holdings whose owners are often their
"The reason for this strange policy is not
far-fetched. Members of the property class who have invested in the
construction of these hostels would naturally want their investment to
yield dividends," explained Akpan (1998).
Today students are having a rough time at the hands of hostel
owners whose primary obsession, has been alleged, is to maximize profit
with little concern for students' welfare. Students have also
complained about the absence of a learning environment in private
hostels. You get an impression that you are, at times, in a shopping
mall when you enter most private hostels in Nigeria universities (Ubong,
A portion of these hostels are transformed into
mini markets with hawkers. At night and during the weekend the hostels
are very noisy and movements in and out of the hostels are not
However, the researcher will provide an overview on the problems
and prospects of managing student hostel in Nigeria using University of
Uyo Hostel as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Research into the management of student hostel in Nigeria
universities has been on the front burner in recent times as steady
growth in the student population in tertiary institutions which has
created the need for expansion in infrastructures including
accommodation facilities. But no effort has been made to provide more
accommodation for students and staff.
This study is seeking to find out if this
situation is a deliberate resource allocation policy, with tertiary
institutions - at the regional and national level - uninterested in
committing funding to accommodation even in the face of tremendous
challenges faced by students due to this poor scenario. The evolution
of off-campus student hostels occurred as a result of poor management
of the school owned hostel accommodation. This development has not been
able to eradicate the management challenges relating to student hostel.
The researcher will however provide an analysis on the problems and
prospects of managing student hostels in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the problems in the management of student hostel in Nigerian universities.
- To examine the prospects in the management of student hostel in Nigerian universities.
- To find out ways by which management challenges in Nigerian universities hostel are curtailed.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the problems in the management of student hostel in Nigerian universities?
- What are the prospects in the management of student hostel in Nigerian universities?
- What are the ways by which management challenges in Nigerian universities hostel are curtailed?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- Findings from this study will enlighten the general public
on the state of the hostel accommodation in Nigerian universities
considering the problems and prospect.
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other
scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in
this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to
provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the overview of problems and prospects of
managing student hostel in Nigeria using the university of Uyo student
hostel as the case study.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to
impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant
materials, literature or information and in the process of data
collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This
consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Accommodation: a room, group of rooms, or building in which someone may live or stay.
Hostels: an establishment which provides inexpensive food and
lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers.
Management: the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.
Akpan, G. E. (1998). The effect of student income support on academic performance. The Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies. 40 (2). 285, 293.
Akpan, P. A. (2000). Housing conditions and environmental quality in Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria. African Journal of Social and Policy Studies. 1(1). 1-7.
Federal Republic of Nigeria (1998). National policy on education. Lagos: NERDC Press.
Okoh, J. D. (2004). Sustainable funding of higher education: Inter-country analysis. The Colloquium. 1(1). 7-10, 15-16.
Ubong, B. (2001). Pupil personnel management in school: A new emphasis under the UBE scheme. Ahmadu Bello University Journal of Education, Legal, and Management Studies. 1 (2). 13