Students from Kenyatta University’s main campus in Kahawa have lauded a Sh5 billion partnership deal that will see the construction of new hostels for the institution.

The deal signed on Friday between KU and an American Firm, Africa Integras, is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that will build ultra-modern hostels with a capacity of 10,000 occupants.

Speaking on Tuesday at the university’s main campus, Kenyatta University Students Association (KUSA) chairman, George Thuku, noted that the project will ease decongest the university’s boarding facilities.

“Accommodation is a nightmare as the university cannot hold them all given that the number of students joining the university increases every year. The hostel project will offer relief to students currently living outside the campus,” he said.

Vice Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda signed the agreement with the New York-based firm’s managing partner Andrea Pizziconi.

Prof. Mugenda said that the new hostels will address accommodation hitches and improve safety while offering services like on-campus learning and gym facilities among others.

According to Thuku, 9,350 undergraduates, 650 postgraduate students will be hosted in the new hostels.

A further 150 will be housed under special units for married couples. The new hostels will sit on a 20-acre piece of land at the university.

In the deal, Africa Integras will collect rent for 15 to 20 years to recover its investment before handing it over to the university.

KU has a student population of 70,000 but only 10,000 are housed in its 21 hostels.

Tendering for construction is slated to begin this month.