Affordable Higher Education Student Accommodation

Buildings of the Windhoek High School in Namibia. The school was founded in 1917
Photo by Grobler du Preez / Shutterstock
Affordable Higher Education Student Accommodation
SectorMost major industry classification systems use sources of revenue as their basis for classifying companies into specific sectors, subsectors and industries. In order to group like companies based on their sustainability-related risks and opportunities, SASB created the Sustainable Industry Classification System® (SICS®) and the classification of sectors, subsectors and industries in the SDG Investor Platform is based on SICS.
Education
Education Infrastructure
Business Model Description

Develop and operate student accommodation infrastructure that serves tertiary education institutions.

Expected Impact

Improve access to higher education, reducing existing inequalities, through affordable student accommodation on the campus of Namibia's major universities.

Indicative ReturnDescribes the rate of growth an investment is expected to generate within the IOA. The indicative return is identified for the IOA by establishing its Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Return of Investment (ROI) or Gross Profit Margin (GPM).
10% - 15% (in ROI)
Investment TimeframeDescribes the time period in which the IOA will pay-back the invested resources. The estimate is based on asset expected lifetime as the IOA will start generating accumulated positive cash-flows.
Long Term (10+ years)
Market SizeDescribes the value of potential addressable market of the IOA. The market size is identified for the IOA by establishing the value in USD, identifying the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) or providing a numeric unit critical to the IOA.
< USD 50 million
Direct ImpactDescribes the primary SDG(s) the IOA addresses.
Quality Education (SDG 4) Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)
Indirect ImpactDescribes the secondary SDG(s) the IOA addresses.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)
Country
Regions
  • Namibia: Khomas Region
  • Namibia: Erongo Region
  • Namibia: Oshana Region
SectorMost major industry classification systems use sources of revenue as their basis for classifying companies into specific sectors, subsectors and industries. In order to group like companies based on their sustainability-related risks and opportunities, SASB created the Sustainable Industry Classification System® (SICS®) and the classification of sectors, subsectors and industries in the SDG Investor Platform is based on SICS.
Education
ED

Development need: Namibia struggles with a high youth unemployment rate of 39%, which is particularly critical given that 37% of Namibia's population is aged 16-35. This has largely been ascribed to the fact that the youth is under-skilled and lacks technical skills, which is seen as a precondition for becoming an industrialized nation (II).

Policy priority: The Government identified education as one of five "game changers", given the sector's potential to act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth (II). Under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, the Government highlights vocational education and training as critical contributors to Namibia's social progression (III).

Gender inequalities and marginalization issues: Despite progress on the primary level, the overall quality of education is a major concern in Namibia. At secondary schooling level, repetition and drop-out rates in remote and rural areas are particularly high; it is estimated that only around 19% of matriculants are able to transition from secondary to tertiary education (IV).

Investment opportunities introduction: While both technical and vocational training provide youth, especially women, with increased chances to obtain employment (VII), returns on investment at secondary education level tend to be higher than those of the vocational track given the unit cost of vocational training (VII, VIII).

SubsectorMost major industry classification systems use sources of revenue as their basis for classifying companies into specific sectors, subsectors and industries. In order to group like companies based on their sustainability-related risks and opportunities, SASB created the Sustainable Industry Classification System® (SICS®) and the classification of sectors, subsectors and industries in the SDG Investor Platform is based on SICS.
Education Infrastructure
ED.2

Development need: The lack of infrastructure, besides limited quality curricula and a lack of international expertise, is the biggest obstacle for Namibia's tertiary education system. Increasing access to the country's tertiary education system, and improving its quality, is expected to result in diversification of economic sectors and accelerating Namibia's industrialisation (V).

Policy priority: To broadly support Namibia's Vision 2030, the Government developed the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Transformation and Expansion Strategy, which details the costing of developing the industry through expanding physical infrastructure and capacity building, which is estimated at NAD 6.9 billion (USD 500 million) (VI).

Gender inequalities and marginalization issues: Education, among others, generates significant multipliers on output, GDP and income. An increase in final demand for among others education generates the highest impact on low-income households, and leads to the largest income multipliers for unskilled labourers (IX).

Investment Opportunity Area

Affordable Higher Education Student Accommodation

Business Model

Develop and operate student accommodation infrastructure that serves tertiary education institutions.

Market Size (USD)Describes the value in USD of a potential addressable market of the IOA.
< USD 50 million
Critical IOA UnitDescribes a complementary market sizing measure exemplifying the opportunities with the IOA.
Namibia has a shortfall of 15,000 student accommodation units annually.

Considering the current shortfall of student accommodation, amounting to 15,000 units annually, and the current rental paid by students (USD 250-272 per month), there is a potential market of approximately USD 46.3 million annually (7).

ROIDescribes an expected return from the IOA investment over its lifetime.
10% - 15%

Student accommodation investments have an expected return profile of 12-18%, depending on the target market and the quality of the units' finishes (6).

TimeframeDescribes the time period in which the IOA will pay-back the invested resources. The estimate is based on asset expected lifetime as the IOA will start generating accumulated positive cash-flows.
Long Term (10+ years)

Based on existing public-private partnership projects, the private sector partner requires 10-20 years to realise a return on its investment (16).

Market - Limited policy direction
Limited policy direction or frameworks for higher education institutions and relevant stakeholders to address student accommodation effectively.
Business - Supply Chain Constraints
Seasonality of need for student accommodation, as some students prefer to obtain short-term accommodation linked to academic semesters.
Capital - CapEx Intensive
Cost of land acquisition and basic infrastructure development in Namibia, which results in high capital expenses for student accommodation.
Sustainable Development Need

38,200 students are enrolled at Namibia's two major universities, namely University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) annually, but they only offer accommodation to 1,800 and 400 students, respectively (16).

Students accommodated off-campus are exposed to market rates, which are unaffordable for many young Namibians. The students may also suffer from unconducive learning environments and a lack of supporting infrastructure, which would be provided at on-campus accommodation (16).

Gender & Marginalisation

Students from marginalised backgrounds, including women, are most likely not to access higher education due to the lack of affordable accommodation options.

Expected Development Outcome

Greater access to higher education for lower- and middle-income students by allowing access to affordable accommodation.

Improved learning environments for students at close proximity to universities.

Gender & Marginalisation

Students with lower purchasing power become more likely to access higher education due to affordable accommodation rates, which may address inequalities in the long-term.

Especially women are expected to benefit from affordable accommodation options since more female than male students are in Namibia's tertiary education institutions (17, 18).

Primary SDGs addressed
4 - Quality Education
Quality Education (SDG 4)

4.3.1 Participation rate of youth and adults in formal and non-formal education and training in the previous 12 months, by sex

4.5.1 Parity indices (female/male, rural/urban, bottom/top wealth quintile and others such as disability status, indigenous peoples and conflict-affected, as data become available) for all education indicators on this list that can be disaggregated

8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)

8.5.2 Unemployment rate, by sex, age and persons with disabilities

8.6.1 Proportion of youth (aged 15–24 years) not in education, employment or training

Secondary SDGs addressed
9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9)
10 - Reduced Inequalities
Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)
Directly impacted stakeholders
People
Lower and lower-middle income students who are attending tertiary education in full-time classes.
Gender inequality and/or marginalization
Students from disadvantage backgrounds who could not afford accommodation at market rates, especially women as there are more female than male students in Namibia's tertiary institutions (17, 18).
Public sector
Governments thanks to a more conducive learning environment in tertiary education, supporting a greater skills match and a stronger economy in the future.
Indirectly impacted stakeholders
Corporates
Local businesses that have primary markets within student ecosystems.
Outcome Risks

Rental markets surrounding university campuses may be negatively impacted with reduced demand given the cost-effective alternative for student accommodation on campus.

Impact Risks

If the accommodation does not include options that are affordable enough for the students most in need, they will not significantly improve access to quality education, nor address inequalities.

What

The outcome is likely to be positive, important and intended because affordable student accommodation will provide quality housing in proximity to contact learning institutions.

Who

Students at tertiary learning institutions, especially women, benefitting from affordable accommodation and conducive learning environments, fostering access to advanced education.

Risk

While the model of student accommodation is proven, it depends on the number of students attending universities and risks becoming unaffordable to those students most in need if scale is not reached.

Impact Thesis

Improve access to higher education, reducing existing inequalities, through affordable student accommodation on the campus of Namibia's major universities.

Policy Environment

National Housing Policy, 1991 / 2009: Provides framework for stakeholders operating within the housing sector. The policy seeks to encourage sustainable human settlements that are categorized as integrated housing development designs and a liveable environment (9).

5th National Development Plan, 2017: Targets the increase of higher education institution students from rural areas and marginalised groups by raising awareness and availability of student financing, for which accommodation will be an essential component (2).

TVET Transformation and Expansion Strategy, 2016: Outlines a targeted approach, centred on a comprehensive TVET transformation and expansion process, to achieve high impact in defined priorities, specifically in terms of programmatic and physical infrastructure growth and expansion (15).

Financial Environment

Financial incentives: National Students Assistance Fund (NSFAF) provides financial assistance to eligible students, which can, among others, be used to cover accommodation costs (8).

Regulatory Environment

National Council of Higher Education: Established under the Higher Education Act, and aims to promote establishment of a coordinated higher education system, promote access of student to higher education institutions, promote quality assurance in higher education and advise on fund allocation (10).

Education Act, 2001: Provides for the provision of accessible, equitable, qualitative and democratic national education service; the establishment of relevant Boards and Funds; and the establishment of the Teaching Service and the Teaching Service Committee (11).

Higher Education Act, 2003: Regulates higher education; provides for the registration, deregistration and closure of private higher education institutions; and provides for the funding of public higher education institutions (12).

Estate Agents Act, 1976: Provides for the establishment of an Estate Agents Board and an Estate Agents Fidelity Fund, and for the control of certain activities of estate agents (13).

National Housing Development Act 28, 2000: Establishes a National Housing Advisory Committee, which provides for the establishment of Housing Revolving Funds by local and regional councils, regulates the allocation of moneys to, and the administration of, Housing Revolving Funds (14).

Private Sector

Investors such as EOS Capital running the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund. Businesses such as Hangeneni Investment Holdings and TaTe Group already operating student accommodations (1).

Government

Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, PPP Unit, National Council for Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Rent Control Board.

Multilaterals

The International Finance Corporation (ICF), together with Namibian banks, provides funding to students that fall in the low and middle income bracket, particularly those in the rural areas (5).

country static map
urban
Namibia: Khomas Region
The main campus of both the University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) are located in Khomas; the region consequently has the highest student population in Namibia.
urban
Namibia: Erongo Region
The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) have faculty campuses in Erongo, offering a large student population.
urban
Namibia: Oshana Region
The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) have faculty campuses in Oshana, offering a large student population.
Sector Sources
  • I) SDG Center for Africa and Sustainable Development Solutions Network, 2019, Africa SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2019, Kigali and New York: SDG Center for Africa and Sustainable Development Solutions Network, https://sdgcafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SDGS_INDEX_REPORT_2019WEB.pdf. II) Republic of Namibia. National Planning Commission, 2017, Namibia's 5th National Development Plan (NDP5), https://www.npc.gov.na/?wpfb_dl=294. III) Republic of Namibia, Office of the President, 2016, Harambee Prosperity Plan 2016/17 - 2019/20 Progress Report, Goals and Outcomes, https://op.gov.na/documents/84084/572904/HPP+Report+2019/66c2eef8-3b23-45be-bc2c-5e728699057e. IV) Republic of Namibia, National Planning Commission, 2018, Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. Voluntary National Review, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/19880New_Version_Full_Voluntary_National_Review_2018_single_1_Report.pdf. V) Jellenz, M.; Bobek, V. and Horvat, T, 2020, Impact of Education on Sustainable Economic Development in Emerging Markets—The Case of Namibia’s Tertiary Education System and its Economy, Sustainability 12, 8814; doi:10.3390/su12218814. VI) The Research Department of the Bank of Namibia, 19th Annual Symposium: Creating Employment through Technical Vocational Education and Training in Namibia, 2018, https://www.bon.com.na/CMSTemplates/Bon/Files/bon.com.na/e9/e9a69b18-c864-48fc-825f-7d9eb982b781.pdf. VII) World Bank, 2017, Skills Development, https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/skills development. VIII) Psacharopoulos, G. & Patrinos, H. A, World Bank, Policy Research Working Paper, Returns to Investment in Education: A Decennial Review of the Global Literature, 2018, http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/442521523465644318/pdf/WPS8402.pdf. IX) DNA Economics, 2021, SAM Multiplier Analysis for the SDG study in Namibia, Six Capitals.
IOA Sources
  • 1) EOS Capital Website, About NIDIF, https://www.eoscapital.com.na/nidif. 2) Republic of Namibia, National Planning Commission, 2017, Namibia's 5th National Development Plan (NDP5), https://www.npc.gov.na/?wpfb_dl=294. 3) Albertina Nakale, New Era Live, 2020, New student funding crisis looms, https://neweralive.na/posts/new-student-funding-crisis-looms. 4) Trustco Banking and Finance Segment, Annual Integrated Report 2019, https://www.tgh.na/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/TBN_FIN_IAR-2019.pdf. 5) International Finance Corporation, Helping Students Hit the Books in Namibia, https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/news_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/news+and+events/news/trustco_namibia. 6) Ministry of Finance & CRISIL Rick and Infrastructure Solutions Ltd, Candidate PPP Projects in Namibia, 2020. 7) Ministry of Finance, PPP Unit; Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, 2020. Not available publicly. 8) Ministry of Education, Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, 2005, https://www.moe.gov.na/files/downloads/c4d_NSFAF%20POLICY.pdf. 9) National Housing Policy, 1991 / 2009, Republic of Namibia, https://www.npc.gov.na/downloads/Policies%20(By%20institutions%20or%20sector)/Urban%20and%20Rural%20Development/National%20Housing%20Policy,%201991.pdf. 10) National Council of Higher Education, Republic of Namibia, http://www.nche.org.na. 11) Education Act, 2001, Republic of Namibia, https://laws.parliament.na/annotated-laws-regulations/law-regulation.php?id=411. 12) Higher Education Act, 2003, Republic of Namibia, https://laws.parliament.na/annotated-laws-regulations/law-regulation.php?id=412. 13) Estate Agents Act, 1976, Republic of Namibia, https://laws.parliament.na/annotated-laws-regulations/law-regulation.php?id=108. 14) National Housing Development Act 28, 2000, Republic of Namibia, https://laws.parliament.na/annotated-laws-regulations/law-regulation.php?id=98. 15) Transformation and Expansion Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Namibia Training Authority, 2016. 16) Ministry of Finance, 2020, Identification Candidate PPP Projects in Namibia: Draft Report, CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Limited in association with MPP Civils Namibia, Available upon request from the Ministry of Finance, PPP Unit. 17) Lembani, R., L, Country Report on Namibian University Education – 2019, International Distance Education and African Students (IDEAS), National Research Foundation, UNISA, http://ideaspartnership.org/userassets/IDEAS_Namibia_Country_Report_2019_FINAL.pdf. 18) Zimba, R. 2015, Manifestations of Namibian Boy’s Underachievement in Education. Forum on Public Policy, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1091523.pdf.