On-campus housing facilities : the perceptions of Ghanaian university students

20 Jun 2019

This paper explores the perceptions that Ghanaian university students have about their on-campus student housing facilities (SHFs) with the aim of providing empirical information that can help hostel managers to appropriately manage and mitigate the gaps in the provision of the services and spaces in SHFs. A phenomenological research strategy was adopted for this study. Data was qualitatively collected by means of focus group discussions. A total of ten focus group discussions were carried out in five universities in the southern part of Ghana. The data was thematically analysed. The study found that students had both positive (commendation) and negative (challenges) perceptions about the SHFs. On the one hand, students commended the stable supply of electricity, the proximity of the SHFs to the lecture theatres, the washrooms provided inside the bedrooms, the provision of mini mart and the religious nature of the SHFs. On the other hand, discontentment was expressed with: the infrequent water supply; the poor condition of bathrooms and toilet facilities; the lack of study areas as well as the inadequacy and unavailability of chairs and tables in the study areas; the slow response of maintenance departments; the poor standard of cleaning; the lack of adequate kitchens and the lack of stable internet connectivity. With this information, the hostel managers will be well positioned to appropriately manage the provision of the services and spaces in the SHFs to meet students? needs and expectations. The study recommends that university estate and hostel managers take prompt steps to improve on the provision and management of the services and spaces that students are discontent with, particularly, those that have health implications as well as those that affect the well-being of the students.