Tuks Bophelong, a mixed residence for medical students, officially opened on 1 February. Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande attended the opening of the new residence.
In his speech, the minister said that it is pivotal that students should learn in a “decent, safe, and academically conducive environment” in order to raise the quality of education in South Africa. This, according to the minister, aids in the success of underprivileged students who come from rural backgrounds.
UP Vice-Chancellor and Principle Prof. Cheryl de la Rey said that the construction of the new residence was in response to Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi’s and Dr. Nzimande’s call for universities to increase the intake of medical students. This is in line with the university’s aims to serve the country’s national interests.
The cost of building the residence was around R96 million and funding was provided by the National Skills Development Fund. The facility is situated on the hill above the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on the university’s Prinshof Campus. The design includes five residential blocks with 301 single bedrooms, a communal facility and a 200 m2 house parents’ residence. Four of the bedrooms were designed and equipped to meet the needs of physically disabled students.