Massification of Higher Education and Students’ Accommodation: The Experience of ‘Kubebana’ at the UDSM
This article aims at establishing a historical analysis of the impact of the massification of higher education and the resultant inadequate facilities on female and male students’ accommodation in Tanzania. Focusing on students’ accommodation, this article examines the experience of students’ accommodation at the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM) over the past 50 years. It also explores the link between the type of accommodation and the quality of learning, as well as the quality of students’ life. Most importantly, it endeavours to scrutinize the different experiences about accommodation between male and female students at the university—within and off-campus—and the conception of the terminology of ‘kubebana’ (lit: sharing a bed). The article adopts an exploratory approach to analyze this historical phenomenon from 1961 to 2010, given its compounding nature as the UDSM celebrates its 50 years anniversary. Moreover, the article explores possibilities to address the issue of accommodation in a changing context of public-private partnership. The main sources of data were the focus group discussions and key informants, which were complemented by students’ essays and written documents, as well as literature from various written media. Results show that students adapt ‘kubebana’ as a coping mechanism, a social capital in the UDSM learning environment, and as a capital to be used later in life.
Keywords: massification of higher education, students’ accommodation, ‘kubebana’.