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Copperbelt University struggles to accommodate students

Copperbelt University Management has accused some students of taking advantage of others without accommodation by charging them exorbitantly for squatting.

The institution’s Registrar Allan Ilunga said this is illegal and must be stopped immediately to protect the vulnerable students.

He said the university would endeavor to continue on its mandate of providing excellent education in a safe and healthy environment conducive for both students and those who support them.

Mr Ilunga said the institution was aware that some students have taken advantage of others without accommodation by charging them higher prices for squatting.

“CBU like any other institution has limited bed space and can only accommodate numbers equal to what is available and this should not compromise healthy issues or allow students to exploit their colleagues,” he said.

He said the University had on short term basis engaged private property owners in the surrounding areas to provide alternative accommodation to students who were not accommodated at the institution.

Mr Ilunga said CBU, like any other educational institution, had rules and regulations that govern its operations and that the student’s information handbook does not allow students to have extra people living in their rooms.

He said the institution was simply enforcing the already existing rules on accommodation and had the responsibility of providing a conducive environment at campus.

Mr Ilunga said CBU does not want to expose students to communicable diseases hence the decision to ban squatting.

Last week Copperbelt Students Union (COBUSU) president Oscar Mbewe said it was unreasonable for CBU management to bar squatting when the enrollment scale at the institution had kept on increasing.

Mr Mbewe said the institution had a population of about 13, 000 students against 2,000 bed spaces which meant that 11, 000 students have no accommodation.

Meanwhile, Mr Ilunga said management was working at addressing the accommodation challenges and would create an addition of 10 000 bed spaces by the year 2016.

Mr Ilunga said in a statement in Kitwe yesterday that the institution was working towards addressing the accommodation problems through partnering with the Government in constructing hostels through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to provide enough bed spaces to students.

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