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Media Alert
13 March 2019
For Immediate Release

As the only comprehensive and stand-alone health sciences university in the country, SMU has been mandated to admit 7 000 students by 2020, and to raise the numbers to 10 000, by 2025. Whilst the student enrolment figures are government regulated, prospects are promising that these enrolment targets are well within reach, judging by the student enrolment figures of 6410 that were admitted in 2018.

An increase in student numbers far outpace the programme to develop infrastructure and to refurbish the dilapidated buildings. However, plans are underway, as a matter of extreme urgency, to erect facilities and infrastructure such as residences to accommodate the rising numbers of students, to provide them with clinical exposure on different clinical platforms, laboratories and libraries.

To cater for these needs, the government has provided a R1 Billion grant for infrastructure development programme which will be rolled out over a five year period, which commenced in 2018. Of this amount, R600 Million has been earmarked for the construction of the 2000 bed residences, on campus, for the students. The residences construction programme will be carried out in 24 months phases and each phase will deliver 500 beds, which will be ready for occupation.

R26 million will be utilised for the construction of the student pavilion which will have a student dining hall and a staff cafeteria with cubicles to accommodate small and medium enterprises as well as a new library. The existing facilities such as the student dining hall will be put to other uses once the new dining hall will be ready for use. The grant will also be spend on the refurbishment of the existing laboratories. The amount which will be spend on these refurbishments and the amount to be spend will be thrashed out with SMU Council (SMUC).

The infrastructure and facilities which will be constructed will go a long to give the scenic campus a contemporary look and feel. However, these facilities will not be enough to make up for years of lack of infrastructure and facilities development. Additional sources of funding will be canvassed outside the government sector. This initiative will bring the public and private sectors together in a partnership to raise capital to fund the construction of these facilities and infrastructure.

But the proposal to kick start the public and private sector partnership for facilities and infrastructure build programme will first have to be tabled for ratification before the SMUC. Residences 1A, 1B and the Nuclear Medicine Unit have been refurbished to make them more habitable and user-friendly for students, staff and the patients who come for specialist treatment.

The basement section of CLIN PATH Building has also been refurbished to accommodate more office spaces and student waiting rooms. The newly built pharmacy building will soon be put through structural maintenance programme to correct structural defects identified by engineers.

Ends

Released by the SMU Marketing & Communication
Contact Dr Eric Pule, the Director, Marketing & Communication
Phone 012 521 4563