THE IMPACT OF STUDENT POPULATION ON RENTAL VALUE AROUND THE POLYTECHNIC NEIGHBORHOOD (CASE STUDY OF RUFUS GIWA POLYTHECNIC OWO). A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Tertiary institution is viewed as a magnet in the metropolitan area that attracts people and economic activity towards it (O‟Flaherty, 2005). In recent time the Nigeria government has shown strong commitment to growth in higher education sector by the establishment of more institutions especially polytechnics and the liberalization of its ownership. While this is the focus of the government little or no attention is given to the provision of accommodation in the polytechnic to meet the rising student population. As a result of this majority of the student population take solace in the rental market for alternative accommodation. The demand has resulted in the establishment of niche market because student’s market especially appears to be robust. Hence, Peacocke (1999) opined that the major characteristics of students demand is that it monopolizes the market thereby reducing supply to other tenant groups. For instance, close to 80% of students’ populations of the Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State are living in privately rented accommodation. The result of this is a sharp increase in rent since the available housing accommodation even in the rental market are not enough to meet the demand. In the past, houses were completed by landlords or property investors, but today, students struggle to make payment even when such accommodation are yet to be completed.
The landlords and investors exploit this situation and rents are arbitrary fixed and outrageous. Therefore, this study aims at investigating the impact of student population on the rental values around the polytechnic neighborhood.
Polytechnic as a social institution is seen as a great system concerned with imparting knowledge and skills, which help an individual to participate in the society (Ramon-Yusuf, 2003). Babalola and Okediran (1997) views Polytechnic education as that which facilitates creation of knowledge and innovation for the overall socio-economic empowerment of the individual and community development. Historically in Nigeria, majority of the Polytechnics were located at the community outskirts so as to create conducive environment for learning; less difficulty in getting required land size and the minimum financial implication attached. However, these polytechnics including the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo have enjoyed circumferential expansion in their neighborhoods primarily because of the functions they perform.
A polytechnic may generate different sort of impacts in a neighborhood. The presence of a polytechnic in a derelict area may initiate the transformation of the entire neighbourhood through the action of development, regenerating houses in order to attract students, staff, and those providing support services to live nearby (Perry and Wiewel, 2005). More also, polytechnic can also function completely apart from the surrounding neighborhoods, ignoring social problems (Anamaria and Melchior, 2007).
Anamaria and Melchior (2007) used two concepts to analyze the impacts produced by the presence of a tertiary institution in an area: to include magnets and enclave. The first concept used to describe the impacts of large land owners such as the polytechnic is the “magnet”. In urban terms, magnet represents a concept or metaphor which describes a territory in the metropolitan area which attracts people and economic activity towards it. Polytechnics can be qualified as magnets since they have the power of attracting many students, schools/faculties and staff as well as business and institutional activities to a specified region in a town. Polytechnics, when acting as a magnet, besides attracting uses that promote urban and economic growth, attracts activities regarded as damaging by particular groups in the society (Anamaria and Melchior, 2007). The second concept used to describe the impact of large land owners such as the polytechnics is the “enclave”.