The Summerstrand Hotel, a Port Elizabeth landmark, is being converted into a 500-bed residence for students at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and is due to open in March.
The Summerstrand Student Village is a 600 m walk from NMU’s main campus. The new village gives students an opportunity to stay in accommodation close to the NMU campus at an affordable rate, says student accommodation group STAG African director John Schooling.
Amenities include self-catering cooking facilities, catered meals, laundry facilities, WiFi, a swimming pool and student centre for social events. Rooms measure up to 27 m2 in size and each has an en-suite bathroom.
“Students from all over the country come to study at NMU and, while they may be at different income levels, their housing needs are the same. Safety, Internet connectivity, access to resources and social support are critical to a student’s ability to succeed. By allowing students to focus on their work, affordable student housing contributes to academic success,” says Schooling.
NMU has 29 000 students, but only 3 299 beds in university-owned residences, and can only accommodate 12% of students on campus. To meet the demand for housing, the university has adopted a private student accommodation policy.
Meanwhile, STAG African has recently also completed a 2 047-bed student village at the University of Fort Hare, in the Eastern Cape.