Gozitan students bear the brunt of high rents

Gozo University Group: ‘Landlords prefer a wealthy foreign tenant to a couple of Gozitan students’

The Gozo University Group has called on the government to find a workable solution to help students studying in Malta and be able to truly enjoy their right to free education.

Gozitan students who want to further their studies at the university have two options: commute daily between the two islands or rent a flat in Malta.

“Moving to Malta brings with it a lot of financial challenges. Some are lucky enough to own an apartment, thanks to their parents’ support. Others are not as fortunate. Several students this year have complained that they couldn’t find affordable rent. Too much money is being asked from the students,” the GUG said in a statement.

According to the Gozitan students, part of the blame is down to “new betting companies which employ foreign workers”.

“These workers can pay a monthly rent of €1,000. This means that many landlords prefer a wealthy foreign tenant to a couple of Gozitan students,” the group said.

Gozitan students receive a €500 grant every three months. According to the GUG, the average monthly rent for a student is around €150, excluding internet service and water and electricity bills.

“These students are still dependent on their parents so this is a huge financial strain on the entire family,” the GUG said.

The group has been in touch with the authorities, who believe that if the grant were to be raised, the landlords would only raise the rent even more.

“The Organisation disagrees with this argument as, even without an increased grant, rents are still going up.”

The GUG also held talks with President of the Republic, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, in order to obtain funds “to be given to less privaleged students in order to make the transtion easier”.

“If we boast that in Malta a student has the right to free education, then why is it that Gozitans have to pay so much more money in the name of education?”