ISLAMABAD-The International Islamic University (IIU) students belonging from far flung areas of the country are facing severe difficulties of accommodation due to shortage of hostels on the campus, Saturday.  The students’ strength of the university is increasing every year; however the last hostel for boarding students was constructed in 2015. Details said that the university has eight boys hostels and seven girls’ hostels. The last boys’ hostel was inaugurated in 2011, while the girls’ hostel was constructed in 2015. “No new hostel has been constructed for male students which has become a major cause behind illegal accommodation in the hostels,” said a student Mohammad Ahmed, who is illegally living in the hostel.  He said that the hostel administration allots a single room for three students, however, the ratio of illegal students has increased in past years and average 6 students are living in a single room.  He said that students from Gilgit Baltistan to South Punjab are admitted in the university, but the shortage of hostels creates severe accommodation problems for them and they have to search for shelters to live and study.

“Islamabad is an expensive city, students cannot afford to live in private flats or hostels and they try to get space in university hostels illegally,” he said. The university administration charges around Rs13000 semester fee from BS students, 21000 from Ms/MPhill students and around Rs27000 from PhD students.  However, the overburdened hostels with illegal students’ impacts on the facilities for the students and the legal hostel students have to suffer more.  “We pay fee for rooms, mess and other facilities but are always struggling for the quality in all things,” said Ramzan Khalid a student of MBA.  He said that a student admitted in 1st semester gets the hostel facility in 4th semester because of the rush of applications, and during this time the student has to live either in private hostels or illegally at the university. The boys’ hostel has the capacity of accommodating 3500 students approximately, but currently nearly 7000 students are living there, an official said.  He said the students protested multiple times and demanded the administration to build new hostels but every time the administration comes up with a new excuse.  An official said that university administration cancelled nearly 24 seats of the students in recent action against illegal accommodations but it does not have any big impact.  Meanwhile, the girls’ hostels though do not face the issue of illegal accommodation, but shortage of rooms has overburdened the facilities.  A student Ammara Khan said that more students are accommodated in small a room which affects the academic activities of the students.  She said female students cannot afford to live outside due to financial and social issues and prefer to adjust in the university hostels. Ramzan Khalid also said that the university administration has allowed different cafes and kiosks to be functional around the hostel premises and they are generating good money from the students’ pockets. Cafes are rented on above Rs100000 and juice bars on above 45000 and they all cover their expenses from students by selling edibles on higher rates.   “Cafes for students are established in the campuses on no profit no loss business concept, however the situation is opposite and university is not controlling the rate,” he said.

Ramzan also said that foreign students are given relief and they are allotted rooms in the hostels from the 1st semester, but the local students from far areas for the country have to wait for around two years to get admission. The university administration in on its official website said that due to less number of hostels, accommodation in hostels is limited.. Rector IIU, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai while talking to The Nation said that there is no doubt that the university if facing a shortage of hostels and it needs to be addressed soon. He said three new hostels were built for female students as the administration felt more pressure regarding female students’ accommodation problems. He said that the university will construct new hostels as soon as it copes with its financial problems. Rector IIU also said that earlier Kuwait had helped in constructing new hostels for the students. 

 

He said the university has also initiated a step of registering the students who are illegally accommodated in the hostels to get some revenue.