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Economy

University of Nairobi plans hostel for 4,000 in deal with investors

Prof Peter Mbithi, University of Nairobi vice-chancellor.PHOTO/FILE
Prof Peter Mbithi, University of Nairobi vice-chancellor.PHOTO/FILE 

The University of Nairobi is set to construct a multi-billion shilling hostel complex to accommodate 4,000 students on its main campus amid rising student population.

The complex will sit on a 3.7-acre piece of land along Harry Thuku road between Norfolk Towers and Hotel Boulevard and is set to ease pressure on the existing facilities that have not kept pace with student numbers.

Construction will be through a public-private partnership (PPP) in which private investors will finance construction, operate for some time to recoup their investments and profit before transferring ownership to the university, according to Treasury’s PPP unit.

Official data shows that the university’s student population has nearly doubled in the past three years to 98,713 last year from 69, 946 in 2014 and 50,895 in 2012.

This has piled pressure on the facilities with some government-sponsored students missing accommodation.

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The proposed hostel will also have facilities to accommodate 50 visiting foreign scholars at any given time.

The University of Nairobi has recently been keen to expand its infrastructure after years of lull even as other public institutions like Kenyatta University have been on an expansion spree, setting up hostels and modern libraries.

China Wu Yi is putting finishing touches to a 22-storey complex at the University of Nairobi. The building boast VC’s and deputy VC’s suites, senate boardroom and lecture halls to accommodate 3,000 students.

Other features are a council meeting room and offices for its Graduate School of Business.

The university also plans to put up a Sh2 billion building from March next year to host classes for Chinese language and culture. It is expected to take 18 months to complete.

The complex will house lecture halls and offices and will be financed by China through its Confucius Institute, which promotes Chinese language and culture overseas.

The university’s management is also in talks with the French Development Agency (Afd) for a Sh3 billion loan to construct a state-of-the art science and engineering complex.

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