PROJECT TOPIC :MODE OF UNIVERSITIES HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION AND STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
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Keywords: MODE OF UNIVERSITIES HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION
The study was on Mode of Universities Students’ Hostel Accommodation And Students’ Academic Performance in Selected Federal Universities in Nigeria. Accommodation which is also referred to as shelter has been described as the second basic necessities of man after food. The need for housing cannot be over emphasized. According to habitat.com, urban populations have increased rapidly across the globe, often outstripping available housing. In case of students in the universities, housing refers to the provision of ‘on campus’ hostel accommodation. In recent times, as a result of expansion in student population, hostel accommodation for university students in Nigeria has become a major concern for both students, parents and even to the school authorities as almost all the universities fail to provide adequate accommodation for students. In cases where it is provided, such accommodation is known to be terribly bad, dirty, congested and overcrowded thereby impeding their capability of learning effectively. The objectives of this research work however is to determine if there are any effect of students’ hostel accommodation on academic performance. The research instrument used for this study are the results of both the accommodated and not accommodated 400 levels students for the last three sessions (i.e. 100L – 300L) and an interview guide. The interview guide was administered on 600 students from the universities of Lagos and Ibadan of which only 400 responses were collected, relevant and therefore useful for the study. The data gathered were used to compute a descriptive statistics tables and for the presentation, the research hypotheses one was tested using Paired sample T-test statistical techniques as an inferential analysis and hypothesis two was tested with the aid of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient (PMCC) to derive the conclusion for the study. The major findings of the research showed that there is a significant difference in the academic performance of students that are ‘on-campus’ to those staying ‘off-campus’ . On-campus students performed better academically than off-campus students. It was revealed that the sex and age of the students do not determine or influence the mode of allocation of hostels in Federal Universities. It was recommended that federal universities in Nigeria must look for a way of increasing the number of bed space available in the halls of residence by directly building additional blocks to the existing ones and involving private sector partnership.Secondly, the universities, being citadel of higher learning should be involved in research, development and demonstration of local building materials for student housing construction. This will involve the concerted efforts of the lecturers, researchers, students and the backing of the university authorities and, thus saving cost on construction.
Background to the Study
Housing generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether this is a house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. Many governments have an administrative section that deals with housing. The significance of housing as a major determinant of man’s welfare, life sustenance and survival is very critical and will always be of prime concern to individual, family, community and the nation at large.
Housing is paramount to human existence as it ranks among the top three needs of man. Its provision has always been of great necessity to man. As a unit of the environment, housing has profound influence on the health, efficiency and social welfare of the community (Omole, 2001).
In case of students in the universities, housing refers to the provision of hostel accommodation. In recent times, as a result of expansion in student population, hostel accommodations for university students in Nigeria has become a major concern for both students, parents and even to the school authorities as almost all the universities fail to provide adequate accommodation facility for students. In cases where it is provided, such accommodation is known to be terribly bad, dirty, congested and overcrowded thereby impeding their capability of learning effectively.
The importance of the social environment in students’ life cannot be overemphasized. Availability, adequacy, and functionality of hostel facilities are the key factors in the determination of students’ choice of university, staying focused and satisfaction. This therefore makes it imperative for schools to give students housing a top priority while enhancing the reputation of the school among other contemporaries. The students’ housing is said to include facilities such as bedrooms which can serve the dual purpose of study and sleeping, bathrooms and toilets, kitchen, laundry, recreational areas and access to internet services as this further enhance the study-learning experience.
Abramson (2009) on his part, stated that the student housing can be further made exciting by providing further facilities such as ATM machines, car park, mini markets, bookshops and cafeterias within the precinct of the students’ housing.
Federal universities in Nigeria face a momentous challenge every year to accommodate and maintain the hostel facilities in the universities. Within the higher education sector, there is a large increase in the student intake every year. Therefore, the importance of hostels facilities for university undergraduates has substantially increased. Since, it is believed that the facilities provided in the hostels for the students has some impact on their academic performance. The lack of satisfaction in the hostels has motivated many generations of students to take action against the unsatisfactory conditions and many unfortunate incidents of student militancy were originated in the hostels (Weeramunda, 2008). Furthermore, lack of general knowledge, experience, maturity, lack of practical skills and analytical ability as well as ill-equipped teaching, classroom environment, financial difficulties, poor residential facilities and lack of communication between students and teachers have been identified as main factors handicapping students from fully enjoying the benefits of university education (Ariyawansa & Perera, 2005 as in Perera, 2013).
As competitive as hostel accommodation in federal universities in Nigeria may be, the mode and procedures for allocating hostels/bed space poses yet another migraine. While some universities make reservations for the first and final year students in order to ease their worries and quickly settle down to the business of learning, others provide equal opportunity to all students to vie for available space. The latter most times is either carried out by first come, first serve basis, the purchase of scratch card and/or balloting means. However the approach, if it does not provide hostel accommodation for all desirous students especially the new students (who are struggling to settle down in a new environment) and the final years students (who at the time, would have a lot of commitment within the school environment), then, such arrangement/system is not adequate and effective.
In most cases, facilities provided at campus in federal universities are so obsolete and poorly maintained. Some of the facilities sparking protest included the lack of adequate power supply, water supply, good convenience (toilets and bathroom), maintenance of electrical gadgets, entertainment gadgets (such as television, decoders at the common rooms), etc. despite paying exorbitant fees. In fact, one of the universities was recently shut down when a 300level student was electrocuted and killed by a naked wire in the hostel staircase (Daily Times 30th April, 2016). Students vent their anger on school management for not maintaining the facilities despite several complaints.
The variables we chose to measure the living and study environments are listed below. In these variables, a hostel is a place where student housing and catering needs are provided. Data were obtained on two types of variables thought to be related to GPA by conducting a survey of a random sample of resident students: variables measuring the living environment, and variables measuring the study environment:
The Variables measuring the living environments are: Time spent in hostel; Type of room; Number of times student changes blocks; Ability to study in room during the day; Ability to study in room at night; Sources from where students obtains their meals; Satisfaction with the level of services provided by the catering departments; Sufficiency of water supply in the hostels; Safety in rooms; Effectiveness of security personnel.
On the other hand, the Variables measuring the study environments are field of study; Current year of study; Financial assistance; Time spent on study; Sufficiency of study rooms; Library facilities; Safety studying at classes at night; Availability of study desk in room; Availability of study chair in room and Availability of study lamp in room.
Against this backdrop, this study become necessary in order to beam a critical search light on the mode of allocation of student hostels and the conditions of hostels facilities in the Nigerian universities to ascertain if there is an impact versa-vice academic performance.
Statement of Problems
As a result of expansion in student population, accommodations for university students in Nigeria has become a huge problem for both students, parents and university authorities as almost all the universities have failed to provide accommodation facility for students. The very few accommodations that are being provided are not well maintained and also below standard, thereby exposing students to frustrated life on campus. Nigerian university students presently live under a horrible condition on school campus. Their accommodation is known to be terribly bad, insanity, congested and overcrowded thereby impeding their capability of learning effectively. Some of the very few universities that provide accommodation do not make enough provision. Rooms that are meant to serve just two students now accommodate up to seven students. Yet such arrangement can only provide for just 40 percent of the total students population.
Despite concerted efforts by government and university authorities, solution to student hostel accommodation problems has remained a mirage. It is against this backdrop that a critical search is beamed on this research which leads to the objectives of the study.
Purpose/ Objectives of the Study
Given the statement of problems above, the objectives of this study amongst others are:
1. To ascertain if there are special preference to sex and age of students in the allocation of hostels in the Nigerian federal universities.
2. To ascertain if there are special preference to faculties and course of study in the allocation of hostels in the Nigerian federal universities.
3. To obtain student perceptions on living and study variables that affect the living and study environments of student at the identified Universities
4. To identify those variables from 3, which are significantly related to student GPA.
5. To ascertain whether or not there is any impact on student academic performance as result of adequate and efficient student hostel accommodation.
The study addressed the following questions.
1. Are hostels in the Nigerian federal universities allocated based on sex and age of the students?
2. Are there any special preference in the allocation of hostels in the Nigerian federal universities based on faculties, departments and course of study?
3. Do students feel that the campus amenities such as room fittings (TV, Bedspace, dining room, Toilet, Bathroom, etc), Hospital/Clinic availability and library which provides sufficient study materials, helps in reducing distractions and thereafter enables students concentrate wholly on their studies?
4. Do students feel that the campus residence is safe enough in terms of studying in classes at night, safety in their rooms and the performance of the security personnel?
5. Is there any correlation between the living, study variables and student GPA?
6. What factors are responsible for the preference of federal universities and the attendant shortage of hostel accommodation in Nigeria’s federal universities?
H0: There is no significant relationship between adequate hostel accommodation and improved academic performance amongst students in Nigeria’s federal universities.
H0: There are no significant relationship between sex, age, faculties, departments and/or even course of study and allocation of hostels in Federal Universities .
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to establish the correlation between appropriate hostel accommodation and improved academic performance. This study is however limited to the evaluation of hostel facilities in only the four identified federal universities in Nigeria. Only information obtained as regards the implication of the modes used for allocation of hostels and the satisfactorily extent of hostel facilities are considered.
Significance of the Study
The study which is aimed at ascertaining if there is any relationship between appropriate hostel accommodation and improved performance in a student academic career will no doubt be relevant to the student and their parent for decision making purposes. Since shelter is one of human’s top necessities, everyone is in dire need of one, especially if new in an environment. Hence, both parents and their wards would consider the likelihood of getting accommodation within and around the campus before making a choice of university to attend or send their wards to as the case may be.
The study will also be useful and relevant to the entire workforce of the school authority for planning purposes. The Dean of student affairs, Senate and other planning executive within the confines of the university environment would like to know the percentage of total student accommodated, revenue stream that is forgone due to inadequate provision of hostel accommodation and limiting capacity due to inadequate facilities such as the hostel accommodation.
The Research will also be relevant and useful to Government in the areas of policy formulation and implementation as regards infrastructure development in federal government universities.
The Research will be relevant to upcoming researchers in this field and indeed to the general public and the society at large as it will help upgrade the standard of education.
Limitation of the study
This study was limited by some factors such as:
1. Time constraints in covering all the federal universities in Nigeria as it will involve more financial implication.
2. All questionnaires might not be retrieved from the respondents.
Definition of Terms
1. Housing – Housing generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether this is a house, or some other kind of dwelling,lodging, or shelter.
2. Social Environment – The social environment is simply the culture the student is educated or lives in, the people and institution which the student interact with. With the black continent social status, there are usually class and circle segregation issues.
3. Student Hostel (SH) – refers to the housing or accommodation provided by the school authorities for student residential needs. It is usually within the school premises (Campus). However, in some seldom cases, some hostels are sited off camp, especially privately owned hostels.
4. Students’ Hostel Satisfaction (SHS) – refers to the students’ residential satisfaction with the hostel facilities in relation to their needs, requirements and experiences. This has to do with whether or not the rooms are furnished with mattresses and pillows, tables and chairs for studying, wardrobes, air-conditioner or ceiling fans, shoes racks, railings where towels can be hung, mirrors for dressing, waste bins, effective lighting system and adequate electrical outlets. Others include study-bedrooms, washrooms (i.e., bathrooms and laundry rooms), pantry, leisure rooms (i.e., study areas, computer centers, television lounges, meeting rooms, and a prayer room for Muslims).
5. Student Hostel Facilities(SHF) – include the following Student residential amenities such as: study-bedroom, washroom (toilet, bathroom and laundry), pantry (kitchenette), common and recreation room, study room computer room, television room meeting room, prayer room (musallla) lobby, support services vehicles parking lot, cafeteria, mini market and mini bookshop, ATM machine and public phone, CCTV surveillance system, security guards, lifts/stairs, electrical wiring, water supply, garbage disposal and fire safety.
6. Academic Performance – refers to rating of a student, especially after taking an examination. There are various academic status/standings in the university. They include Distinction (1st Class) for performance rating between 4.5 – 5.0, Second Class Upper (2.1) for performance between 3.5 – 4.49, Second Class Lower (2.2) for 2.5 – 3.49. Third Class for performance rating between 2.0 – 2.49 and pass for performance rating between 1.0 – 1.99.
7. University – The University is an institution of higher learning. In Nigeria, there are Federal Universities (which are owned by the federal government), State Universities (owned by federating states) and Private Universities (owned by individuals or private bodies).
8. Government – A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled. Government in this context refers to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
9. University Authorities – According to Nigeria Education Act, on university administration, the visitor which is usually the president tops the ivory tower administrative ladder, followed by the minister of education. However, the highest principal officer of the university is the chancellor, he presides at convocation ceremonies and other awards giving function. On the mellow rung of the ladder is the pro-chancellor, who chairs the university governing council – the apex decision making body. The day to day academic affairs and other activities of the university is the responsibility of the senate. The helmsman of the senate is usually the vice-chancellor. He is the university chief administrator. Next on the ladder rungs is the registrar.
10. Population – refers to the summation of all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area. However, population as used in this study refers to the total number of students in the university.
11. Jambite or ‘wanna be’ student – refers to the ‘would be’ students that have applied to become students of the university.