Students in humanitarian emergencies have priority in accommodation

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The government has decided that students in emergency situations for humanitarian reasons will now have priority access to student housing, according to a law published today in the Diário da República.

Until now, displaced scholarship students in higher education, public or private, had priority over all others, but the government decided that “students in emergency situations for humanitarian reasons” should also be placed on an equal footing.

Now, these two groups of students have priority in the accommodations that receive support from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), according to the ordinance signed by the Minister of the Presidency, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education.

Secondly, “national or foreign displaced students, including students under the ERASMUS+ program, students under ‘European university’ networks, and foreign students under other international mobility agreements with the Portuguese State, as well as international students who contribute to the effective internationalization of national higher education” are maintained.

And, finally, “suppletively, researchers, teachers and non-teaching staff of higher education institutions, namely in national or international mobility, including in the scope of the ERASMUS+ Program, of networks of “European universities” and under other international mobility agreements with the Portuguese State”.

The current diploma changed a paragraph of ordinance 29-A/2022 that drew attention to the national situation in comparison with what is happening in the rest of Europe, drawing attention to the “significant shortage of supply compared to the needs” and to the “conditions of price and comfort compatible with the economic and financial capabilities of many students.

Besides these facts, the Government also pointed to “a growing presence of national and foreign private operators who practice demanding rental conditions, located in the medium and high ranges”.

Recognizing a “market failure” that leads to a situation that “seriously compromises the effective equality of opportunities in access to higher education”, the Government considered that an intervention and mobilization of resources was justified.

Students have long warned about the lack of decent and affordable housing, a situation that has worsened in recent years with the increase in rent prices.

During António Costa’s government, with Manuel Heitor in charge of higher education, he launched the National Plan for Higher Education Accommodation, which established as a goal the doubling of supply, i.e., that by 2026 there would be 15 thousand more beds.

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