Awaiting hostel opening, international students forced to pay hefty rent
Awaiting the opening of the new hostel at Mumbai University’s (MU) Kalina campus, over 100 international students are forced to shell out more than ₹30,000 per month on house rent. The hostel for international students was inaugurated in July 2022, however, it lies unused on account of unfinished interior work
Mumbai: Awaiting the opening of the new hostel at Mumbai University’s (MU) Kalina campus, over 100 international students are forced to shell out more than ₹30,000 per month on house rent.
The hostel for international students was inaugurated in July 2022, however, it lies unused on account of unfinished interior work.
The opening of the hostel assumes significance since MU and its affiliated colleges in the city are a preferred choice for international students, especially from southeast Asia, for higher education and a hostel for these students on campus now acts as an added attraction.
Though construction was completed last year, and the university received an occupancy certificate (OC), the hostel is not open for admission yet.
“Every month, I spend ₹30,000 on rent for a house near the campus. Food is also expensive in the area. I eagerly want the hostel to open its doors as it will reduce my expenses in Mumbai,” an international student who is pursuing post-graduation, said.
The international students said that annual hostel fee, excluding food, is not more than ₹50,000. “Travelling by autorickshaw from Vakola to Kalina everyday means wasting time. It is also a stress as I am not used to it,” another student said, adding, “To avoid these struggles and focus on study, I need the hostel facility.”
The new facility was aimed at providing accommodation to the international students following the closure of the university’s old international students’ hostel in Churchgate after the structure was declared dangerous a few years ago.
The new six-floor hostel with a capacity to house 146 students is equipped with modern facilities such as reading rooms and a comprehensive library to support the academic endeavours of inmates.
Amol Matele, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson, said, “Despite its promising features, the hostel’s doors have remained locked to students for over a year. This delay is affecting international students.”
In a letter to vice-chancellor Ravindra Kulkarni, Matele has demanded swift action from the university administration, emphasising the financial and temporal benefits that an operational hostel would bring to these students.
In response to queries about the delayed opening, university officials said preparations for the hostel’s opening are underway and it will open soon.
‘Open international hostel for local students’
Meanwhile, students from outside the city are also demanding rooms in the international hostels. “There is no reservation for five-year law students in any of MU’s hostels, so we are not getting accommodation. We therefore demand that the university provides us accommodation in the international hostel once the admission process is started,” a student from Nashik, who is pursuing law at MU, said.
As per the rules, every department has some seats reserved in hostels. MU has had a five-year law course since 2014. “Hostel accommodation will save more than ₹35,000 per month from our expenses,” he added.
As per the MU record, presently there are 101 foreign students pursuing education at MU and its affiliated colleges. As per sources, only 75 foreign students are seeking hostel accommodation. “If the university does not have adequate international students, it should be opened for PhD students, who are currently struggling for accommodation in the city,” Rohit Dhale of Chatra Bharati, said. Currently, the university operates five girls’ and two boys’ hostels.