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This study was on Hostel accommodation and its impact on students academic performance in universities. Three objectives were raised which included:  To determine the extent students use hostel accomodations in universities, to determine whether sex and age have a role in the distribution of university hostels in Nigerian federal universities, to determine whether hostel accomodation impacts on academic performance and to determine whether there are special preference to faculties and course of study in the allocation of hostels in the Nigerian federal universities. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from Selected staff and students of University of Calabar, Cross River State. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).




Academic performance

Academic performance is the measure to which students excel in their subject, course, discipline or registered program. Sometimes expressed as academic achievement, ‘it represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments’ (Steinmayr, Meibner, Weidinger & Wirthwein, 2015). The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) at the end of a semester or entire program is often employed to measure academic success and achievement in HE (Muslim, Karim, & Abdullah, 2012; Baharin et al., 2015; Ranjandran, Hee, Kanawarthy, Soon, Kamaludin, & Khezrimotlagh, 2015). Many studies have attempted to predict and determine factors that affect academic performance across a wide range of locations and contexts. Academic performance is a function of many factors and dependent on the study sample as well as study context. Consequently, results vary. Baharin et al. (2015) established a significant relationship between family characteristics and academic performance in Johor, Malaysia. This supports findings in a study of undergraduate students in Ethiopia which established level of parental education as an influence on female students’ academic performance (Tiruneh & Petros, 2014). Findings on student characteristics are overall often contradictory.

This in part is because of the difficulty to control all factors that affect university attainment and academic performance (Thiele, Singleton, Pope, & Stanistreet, 2016). Whist Mersha et al. (2013) and Tiruneh & Petros (2014) established the negative effect of school environments notably teacher roles and off campus facilities on female undergraduate student perfomance in Ethiopia, Ranjandran et al. (2015) note that gender is not an important factor for determining first year students’ academic performance in Malaysia. The study found that entry qualifications, a student characteristic, was ‘the strongest variable that determines the CGPA of first year students’ (ibid, p. 58). Similarly, Fields (1991) established previous academic performance as the most influencial variable on student academic performance. These findings collaborate a recent study of British graduates where males enter university with lower grades than females and ‘were also less likely to achieve either a first or an overall good degree’ (Thiele et al., 2016, p. 1432). Females also performed better than their male counterparts for a core architectural course in an study of academic performance (Opoko, Alagbe, Aderonmu, Ezema, & Oluwatayo, 2014). In contrast, Adewale & Adhuze (2013) establsihed a low correlation between entryqualifications (in Mathematics and Physics) and academic performance of architecture students in Nigeria.

Enthusiasm and pre-knowledge of famous architects and their works were found to influence the design performance of first year undergraduate students in Turkey (Kirci & Yildirim, 2013). Other related student characteristics found to affect academic performance are emotions/self-perception, selfregulated learning and motivation (Tiruneh & Petros, 2014; Mega, Ronconi, & De Beni, 2014). Teaching methods were also inferred to maintain the academic perfomance of architecture students in core architecture courses (Afolami, Olotuah, Fakere & Omale, 2013). Findings on the relationship between academic performance and university features such as accommodation and faculty characteristics also vary depending on location and sample. Baharin et al. (2015) established a significant relationship betweeen academic performance and university feautures largely due to the proximity, accessibility and quality of physical facilities notably the library and classrooms as well as IT services provided by UiTM, Malaysia. Mersha et al. (2013) however note that ‘the school environment in the higher education institutions is a system of stratification that embodies differences of prestige and status among sexes’ (p. 144). Nchungo (2013) identified inadequate student accommodation as a factor affecting 82.5% of the surveyed undergraduate students at the University of Zambia.

Student accommodation

Studies on student accommodation either assess the direct effect of student housing conditions on academic performance or address satisfaction, attitude, perception and quality of student housing as part of modalities towards the general improvement of student experience and by implication, student achievement. The latter form the vast majority of the literature reviewed. Analyses were often conducted with gender and nature of accommodation in terms of living on or off campus as dependent variables. Araujo and Murray (2010a) in a study of students in the United States established that living on campus increases GPA by between 0.19-0.97.

The degree of improvement to student performance caused by living on campus ranges between one-fifth and one full-letter grade (Araujo and Murray, 2010a, p. 1). Owolabi (2015) establsihed a similar trend at the University of Ibadan. In contrast, Omar, Abdullah, Yusof, Hamdan, Nasrudin & Abdullah (2011) note that the academic performance of offcampus students are not influenced by the environment in Malaysia ‘although living off campus is said to be more challenging than staying on campus’ (p. 1225). Other studies either report significant improvement of academic performance largely owing to living on-campus or the inverse where living off-campus was found to negatively impact academic performance (Yusuff, 2011; Modebelu & Agommuoh, 2014; Ekejiuba, 2015). Depending on quality of facilities and services provided, students’ satisfaction with their accommodation varies across the different contexts reported in literature. Features generally rated less satisfactory include overall student accommodation quality (Nimako & Bondinuba, 2013), fees (Khozaei, Ayub, Hassan, & Khozaei, 2010; Matthew, 2014), room size, service spaces notably bathrooms, kitchens and laundries as well as auxiliary facilities such as the internet, security, electricity and water supply (ibid; Neema, 2003; Yusuff, 2011; Najib, Yusof & Osman, 2011; Igbinedion, 2012; Oladiran, 2013; Ekejiuba, 2015). Conditions associated with student housing which record negative satisfaction ratings include overcrowding and issues of territoriality (Amole, 2011; Modebelu & Agommuoh, 2014; Ekejiuba, 2015), cleanliness (Nchungo, 2013), distance from academic facilities (Araujo & Murray, 2010a, 2010b), thermal comfort and noise levels (Yusuff, 2011)

Student accommodation

According to the Oxford Advance Learner’s dictionary (2004) accommodation is a noun which means a place to live, work or stays in rented, temporary or furnished accommodation. Accommodation has to do with privacy, personal space, and territoriality. While Jennifer (2011) stated that accommodation concerns an individual’s freedom of choice in a given physical setting with regard to what happens in it from one movement to another. Adequate accommodation is one of the student’s personnel services that enhance the achievement of educational objectives or instruction in an educational institution. In the context of this study, hostel accommodation entails a place where students live; it is usually situated within school compound. The author further commented that Student accommodation can be seen as a place of abode for students; it is also a place where students live and it is usually situated within the College where students are accommodated in hostels or halls of residence.

This student housing of residence, apart from protecting students from sun, rain, heat and cold, also represent a learning environment which has tremendous impact on the comfort, safety and academic performance of students. The essence is to enable students settle down and have a place of rest. The reason could be to enable students to feel the impact of school environment on the learning activities. Student accommodation is referred to a place where students can stay when their residence is located far from the educational institution and which is considered essential to students’ needs, which also called student hostel/housing. Khozaei et al, (2010) stated that student accommodation is regarded as a hostel which is a built with some institutional or formal characteristics and where students have access to the university recreational facilities. Life in a sustainable on-campus hostel makes students more independent as they share accommodation with at most four students at one time. Sustainable on-campus hostel life also makes them smart, active, disciplined, tolerant and socialized with other students and roommates, sharing space and facilities (Khozaei et al., 2010). Parents may be less worried when their children live at on-campus housing sites as there is higher security and safety than at off-campus housing. Jennifer (2011) stated that the goals of any tertiary education include the acquisition; development and inculcation of the proper value orientation for individual and societal survival and the development of intellectual capacities to enable the individual understand and appreciate his environment.

These goals, as far as tertiary institutions are concerned cannot be achieved unless students in the tertiary institution are adequately accommodated and provided with safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, regular supply of electricity and access to affordable means of transport. Shortage of or inadequate accommodation among students is one of the causes of psychological difficulty, and the likely hood of disposition to aggression is high among students when they are not properly accommodated or when they are crowded. This is because when an environment is not conducive, it leads or results in aggressive behaviors emanating from such environment. Human behavior is fundamentally related to attributes of physical environment


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