Rhodes University Accommodation and Hostel

By | November 15, 2022

Rhodes University Accommodation and Hostel

Rhodes University Accommodation and Hostel

Rhodes University Accommodation and Hostel – See Details Below:


Approximately half of our students are accommodated within our 55 Residences and the other half of the students stay off-campus and are referred to as Oppidans.


The Rhodes residential system is a key factor contributing to this tradition of friendship and kinship.  Currently consisting of fourteen halls of residence, each housing between 50 to 120 students, grouped around a central dining hall.  Each residence has four houses that have individual constitutions, rules and traditions.  Some halls have both men’s and women’s houses, while others are for men or women only.

Although most student rooms are single, some first-year students may be allocated to the few double rooms in various residences:  an application may also be made for a double room.  The residences are run by hall wardens who are responsible for the general organisation and management of the hall, with the hall committee, acting as an advisory body.  Hall and house wardens are always available to help and advise students, but their function is not that of a surrogate parent or “watchdog”.  Rules are kept to a minimum but are there to maintain an orderly, peaceful environment conducive to studying and community living.

Life in residence: The rooms in residence are equipped with all the basic furniture and comforts needed, but students may decide to bring a few extras to make their rooms feel more like home. All rooms have a bed, wardrobe, mirror, worktable and chair, table lamp, bookcase, carpeting or a mat, and a heater. Many rooms have a small bedside locker and a washbasin (with hot and cold water in certain residences). Curtains and bedding are provided, but towels are not, so three or four towels should be brought by students, including swimming towels. Students are responsible for cleaning their own rooms, for which basic cleaning materials are provided. Students often wish to set an individual stamp on their rooms. This can be done in several ways, perhaps by substituting their own curtains, duvet cover, and carpet. A bean bag or cushions make the furnishings more interesting. Other useful items might include a tray, coffee mugs, kettle, jug, teaspoons and glasses, coat hangers, an alarm clock and a torch (as no candles are permitted).

The residences are graded according to their location and to the facilities available (e.g. availability of hot and cold water in each room). Each residence has at least one TV lounge with DSTV and DVD access. Over the years, students in certain residences have raised funds for the purchase of additional amenities such as pool tables. Each residence has its own ‘launderette’.

Some residence Halls have their own web pages which give a good idea of residence life at Rhodes University; links to these pages can be found at http://www.ru.ac.za/studentlife/residences

Some basic guidelines are common to all the residences:

1. Privacy: A student may not enter other students’ rooms without their permission.

2. Hours of quiet: Reasonable quiet is expected at all times and particularly before 12 noon, between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm and from 8.00 pm onwards.

3. Alcohol: There are strict regulations governing alcohol on campus or in any residence. No spirits are permitted in residence.

4. Night leave: Students are requested, in their own interest, to let someone know where they are at night.

5. Catering: Balanced meals are planned on a two-week cycle, ensuring that the nutritional needs of students are met. As previously mentioned, various diets are available e.g. vegetarian, Muslim, Hindu, African. Student representatives meet regularly with catering staff to discuss problems and make suggestions.

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6. Insurance: The University does not accept responsibility for students’ possessions if lost, stolen or damaged, so students are advised to lock their bedroom doors. It is also advisable to check that possession are covered by personal insurance, particularly in the case of foreign students.

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7. Clothing: Grahamstown weather can do a whistle-stop tour of all four seasons in a day, so students will need some summer clothes in winter and vice versa. Casual clothes are worn to lectures, but some formal and semi-formal outfits should be included for balls, dinners, dances and parties.

Name tags should be sewn into clothing.

8. Pocket money: Rhodes life is inexpensive and large amounts of money are unnecessary. Depending on what needs to be provided, an amount of R350 to R500 per month should be adequate. A bank account that can be accessed through an ATM is a useful way of transferring money. There are ATMs on campus.


An oppidan is an inhabitant of a University town, a student living off-campus in accommodation rented independently of Rhodes, also known as Oppi in short.

There is an Oppidan Committee whose purpose is to engage with students and look after their interests through keeping open channels of communication.  They also assist oppidan students by providing a support base in the transition between schools and University.  They organize events in order to foster a sense of togetherness so that oppies do not feel excluded from University life because they do not live on-campus. Advice is given on signing lease agreements and being an employer.

Though the oppidan committee first-year students can request to be assigned a mentor who will assist them adjust and settle to the University life off-campus.

Oppidans have access to facilities such as the Stephen Bantu Biko building, where the Oppidan dining hall is located, as well as the Oppidan common room where students can relax and have tea and coffee, watch TV or play a game of pool in-between lectures.  Free bus service is available until 10 pm on weekdays to transport Oppidans.

For further information please visit:  http://www.ru.ac.za/oppidan


Student Support

University life is not always plain sailing.  While some settle down quickly and easily, others need a bit of help and support along the way.  Through the office of Student Affairs Rhodes is geared to providing assistance of all kinds:  free and confidential support from Counselling centre, professional and comprehensive primary healthcare from the Health Care Center and the caring and sensitive gardening staff who are ready to go the extra mile to ensure that students are happy and able to focus on their studies.

Some students know where they are headed, others want to find out; either way through the Career centre students get wide exposure to study and career opportunities with professional guidance to help match interests, abilities with career options.  The career centre offers year-round advice and workshops to help students plan properly for careers that lie ahead.  A well-subscribed Graduate Recruitment Programme runs during the third term where over sixty national and international employers visit to recruit students.

Student Sports


The University has many active sports clubs to choose from.  A wide range of activities is supported by excellent competitive and recreational facilities and equipment which all students are entitled to make use of, at whatever level, enabling both competitive and recreational sportspeople to fulfil sporting ambitions.  All the sports facilities, excluding those required for rowing, sailing and canoe, are located on-campus and within easy walking distance from the residences.  Involvement in sports at Rhodes holds the promise of opportunity, achievement, enjoyment, the establishment of lifelong friendships and, above all, a well-rounded university experience.  If you are serious about your sporting and recreational pursuits and want to experience the enjoyment and camaraderie that sport can provide, Rhodes is the place for you!

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The university consists of 12 different residence halls that are listed below:

Allan Webb Hall

Allan Webb consists of Canterbury, Canterbury Annex, Salisbury, Truro and Winchester. The smallest hall on campus is situated in the beautiful and historic grounds of St.Peter’s. It has four residences for men and women, built at the turn of the century, named after British cathedral cities.

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Courtenay-Latimer Hall

Courtenay-Latimer consists of Beit, Jameson and Oriel. Located in the heart of campus, Courtenay-Latimer Hall is the home of a vibrant group of young women. Living in Courtenay-Latimer Hall is an experience; one that ensures that one becomes part of a special group of well educated, dynamic, fun-loving women.

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu Hall consists of Ellen Kuzwayo, Amina Cachalia, Calata, Margaret Smith, Hilltop 3 and Oakdene. This hall was formally known as Hill Top Hall.

Drostdy Hall

Drostdy Hall consists of Allan Gray, Celeste, Graham, and Prince Alfred. Drostdy Hall has the best geographic situation on campus as it is close to the heart of campus but is also very close to the town. It has both men’s and women’s houses.

Founders Hall

Founders consist of Botha, College, Cory and Matthews. The Hall is centrally situated on campus and is the oldest Hall on campus for men. Many of the traditional hall activities are still maintained over successive generations.

Hobson Hall

Hobson consists of Dingemans, Hobson, Livingstone and Milner. This hall for women combines both an old and new residence style. Hobson Hall is situated among lawns, plane trees and a lovely braai area. It holds academic attainment in high regard.

Jan Smuts Hall

Smuts consists of Adamson, Atherstone, Jan Smuts and New. A scenic stream runs through the grounds of this Hall for men and women. Its ample lawns and trees are ideal for informal games and quiet relaxation. Found in an ideal setting near the tennis courts, squash courts and the swimming pool of Rhodes campus.

Miriam Makeba Hall

Miriam Makeba Hall consists of Chris Hani, Piet Retief, Thomas Pringle and Walker. This is the first side of the “Hill” and has two women’s houses and one men’s house.

Kimberley Hall

Kimberley West consists of Cullen Bowles, De Beers, Rosa Parks and Goldfields. This hall comprises four residences on the second side of the “Hill”.

Lilian Ngoyi Hall

Lilian Ngoyi consists of Centenary, Ruth First, Joe Slovo and Victoria Mxenge. Lilian Ngoyi Hall is a relatively new Hall on campus and was constituted in 2009. Being a new Hall, we are making use of the unique opportunity to develop our own ethos, atmosphere and traditions. Founded on the principles of strength, love and courage, we pledge to infuse a spirit of engagement, responsibility and service in our community.

Nelson Mandela Hall

Mandela consists of Stanley Kidd, Adelaide Tambo, Guy Butler and Helen Joseph. The Nelson Mandela Hall is the youngest Hall on campus comprising of both men’s and women’s houses. The modern facilities, set in awesomely landscaped gardens, combined with the energetic and young gardening team, make Nelson Mandela Hall a great place to be.

St Mary Hall

St Mary consists of John Kotze, Lilian Britten, Olive Schreiner and Phelps. The Hall comprises four residences attractively grouped around a central Dining Hall in lovely gardens. The Hall Caters for both undergraduate and postgraduate female students.

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