The shortage of student beds in South Africa is well known. Various institutions have placed the supply gap at 500 000 That’s half a million students who need suitable accommodation to enable them to complete their tertiary education in safe and secure living spaces. The impact of not having a safe, purpose-fit home to live in –sleeping in libraries or backyard makeshift rooms, for example – needs no explanation. It’s dire. And it contributes negatively to the upskilling and future of the country’s youth. Solving this challenge is a mantle that the Adowa Student Accommodation team has taken head on.
In partnership with the Government Employees Pension Fund, together with the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Adowa has set out on a task to contribute approximately 7 000 brand new student beds to the market, adding to the contributions of institutions such as the International Financing Corporation and other private student accommodation providers. Adowa aligns not only with the minimum norms and standards for student accommodation set out by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), but also with international guidelines of the Association for College and University Housing Officers-International’s (ACUHO-I) 21st Century Project design guidelines, and the Green Building Council of South Africa’s green building Edge certification. Sustainability and innovation are imperative ingredients to the Adowa designs, which makes Adowa’s projects world class.
The idea with the Adowa developments is to ensure students are housed in environments that are conducive to success in their studies. It’s called Purpose-Built Student Accommodation. Research shows that accommodation that aligns itself well with the campus environment and which is integrated into the academic and social lives of students at universities contribute to students achieving better results in their academic careers.
Key features of the Adowa developments is proximity to the targeted institutions and a design arrangement that fosters communities. All Adowa developments are located within a walking distance from targeted universities, to allow students to feel part of the on-campus community. Units are arranged in both apartment and dormitory-style set-ups that have communal kitchens and bathrooms. Also part of Adowa’s offering are greater communal areas such as study rooms equipped with libraries to combine with curated student life programs that assist in career development and tutoring, as well as mentoring during exam time. Laundry facilities, unlimited WIFI and spaces for leisure ensure rounded young adults can be selfsufficient but also confident knowing there is a house supervisor to lend a hand when things get tough.
Adowa recently launched its eye catching 1 047 beds facility named the Ellis Park Student Village in Johannesburg’s Doornfontein region – 50 meters from the University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein campus. The vibrant and colourful building located on Beit Street is indicative of the renewed energy that Adowa is bringing, not only to the cityscapes of major South African cities and towns, but to student life as well. Another 6 000 student beds are due to come online in the next three years in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The target market is the more than 70% of learners funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Adowa aims to make quality purpose-built student accommodation accessible to all, but especially the indigent. The multiplier effect when these individuals are able to gain skills that empower them to feed and take care of their families is tremendous. And Adowa is proud to contribute to that empowerment.