A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide a 10,000 student capacity hostel and 550 units of staff accommodation for the University of Health & Allied Sciences at Sokode-Lokoe near Ho, has been signed with a private estate developer, Augson Global Limited.
The three-year project, which seeks to address the university’s accommodation challenges, is part of the company’s Augson Investment Program (AuSIP) on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis.
Signing of MoU
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the PPP Committee of the university, Professor Seth Owusu-Agyei and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Rudolf Schirmer Ampofo-Domfeh.
The $70 million project dubbed, “Augson Smart Hostels”, will offer various units’ types for its diverse tenant profile tailored to all demographics in search of urban living on campus.
It shall provide students and staff with the widest variety of housing types and prices, proximity to lecture theatres, a range of transportation options, and the opportunity to live near the many amenities that the facility shall have to offer.
Speaking after the signing, Prof Owusu-Agyei expressed excitement about the prospects of the project.
He recounted that the request for proposals, presentation and evaluation processes conducted by the university for the development of its lands, “and pursuant to the process, UHAS has earmarked Augson Global as the developer.”
“Augson is excited to develop two transformative mixed-use projects for UHAS,” Mr Ampofo-Domfeh said, adding that the project would create a true, transit-oriented residential mixed-use development with students housing and retail uses.
Lack of hostel facilities
Commenting on the MoU, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor John Owusu Gyapong, noted that currently, in most universities especially young ones such as UHAS, the number of students admitted was not determined by the bed spaces available.
“This is as a result of high demand for higher education and the high number of SHS graduates who qualify for university admissions.
“This has created (an) accommodation shortage such that each year students lack accommodation within the school hostel.
“This is a disadvantage to students who cannot find or afford accommodation outside the university, especially those who do not hail from the city and nearby towns and probably have never been to those cities and towns before,” Prof Gyapong noted.
He said private companies’ participation in the development of infrastructure for universities was an imperative initiative, “and we are grateful for Augson’s interest in joining hands with UHAS for these developments”.
Prof Gyapong expressed the hope that the accommodation shortage shall be corrected soon with these proposed developments where an appropriate environment will be created for living as well as studying.