Solution for students’ dormitory

Accommodation for students has been a problem for universities over the years. A model dormitory, however, has recently been built to gradually ease the situation.

Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology is put in use in 2009. (Photo: SGGP)

The Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology has opened a new dormitory, costing more than VND120 billion ($6.9 million).

The 12 story building has 307 dorms for local students, 20 dorms for foreign students, 20 guest rooms, six lifts and a basement for parking. Each story has a common room. The dormitory also has a library, a computer room, a canteen and a gym.

The luxurious dormitory, however, can only provide accommodation for 2,500 students out of more than 17,000 students.

Associate Professor, Dr. Le Van Nam, vice principal of the university, said that they tried to raise the money from many sources but failed to do so. Finally, they asked for a loan from the Development Assistance Fund.

The university has taken great effort to build this dormitory. Unfortunately it is unable to build any more as there is not enough land, he added.

Two dormitories for the Ho Chi Minh City of University of Economics provide rooms for 1,600 students, eight percent of the demand.

Those two were reportedly downgraded and the university has paid billions each year for restoration.

The university’s vice principal Nguyen Viet, said that they neither have land nor money to build new dormitories. Tuition fees barely cover the university’s operational costs.

The university has not built a new school in District 9, which was planned nine years ago, he said.

Other universities’ dormitories only meet 10 – 30 percent of the demand while most of private universities do not have any. Many students have to rent rooms in slums with poor hygiene.

Dr, Nguyen Khac Canh, manager of the Ho Chi Minh City National University’s Department of Students’ Affairs, excitedly shows his university’s new dormitory.

“We have implemented the idea of privately financing the dormitory”, he said. “Hung A Company has paid for this project.”

The project’s first stage provided rooms for more than 1,000 students.

There are 20,000 students studying at this school and 60 percent of them need accommodation.

The university has managed to provide rooms for 7,000 students, Dr. Canh said. 5,000 students still have to rent out of campus.

The university plans to build more dormitories for students and many businesses have shown that they are interested.

The government has issued a special policy for businesses that help in the privately financed dormitory project. It will not collect land fees and tax and will help businesses with compensation claims for clearing the land.

The businesses will be allowed to mobilize capital from central and local housing development funds and from financial organizations.

Privately financed dormitories are a reasonable solution to the accommodation problem but not all universities can follow this model, as most do not have land to build a place for students.

By Le Linh - Translated by Thuy Doan

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