The prime minister stressed this Wednesday that, given the needs of student accommodation, the Government “can’t give up” to have 26,000 beds for students by 2026, admitting the need to “fitness” to reach the goal.
“We have no right to reduce our ambition. When we set the goal of reaching 26,000 student accommodation beds by 2026 […]this ambition corresponds to effective needs that the academic community has”said Antonio Costa during the opening session of a renovation of a residence at the University of Beira Interior (UBI), in Covilhã, which was closed due to lack of habitable conditions.
The prime minister noted that, given the current situation, marked by the war in Ukraine and inflation, it is now “harder” execute the goals established under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).
“We have this schedule and we will stick to it”
Given this context, the promoting institutions and the State will have to “do the necessary gymnastics to succeed”with the resources that the PRR makes available, make “the same” that the Government had proposed to do, “knowing that the cost of doing it today is much higher” than when the targets were set.
“But we cannot give up implementing them, because if we give up implementing them, it means that in 2026 we will have fewer beds available than those we know are necessary to meet needs”, he said.
“We have this schedule and we will stick to it”reaffirmed António Costa.
Costa admits that EU could have extended deadlines
During his speech, the Prime Minister recalled that the European Union could have opted to extend the PRR execution period beyond December 31, 2026, but that option was not followed and that is not why the Government will “put your arms down and give up”.
“Will it be more demanding from a financial point of view? It will, but we can’t give up”he stressed, recalling that applications for this support line to increase beds for students exceeded the amount available in the PRR, demonstrating its need.
For António Costa, it is fundamental “democratize the conditions of access to higher education”choosing as “greatest barrier” the price of accommodation for displaced students.
The work represents an investment of 801 thousand euros
The now renovated university residence, which has 47 beds, represented an investment by UBI of 801,000 euros, with a financing of 474 thousand euros by the PRR.
António Costa was taking part in the inauguration, within the scope of the “Closer Government” programme, which takes place between today and Thursday, in the district of Castelo Branco, with more than 40 initiatives where members of the executive will be present.
Throughout today and Thursday, António Costa will visit companies, public services and meet with mayors of the regionwith a Council of Ministers scheduled for Thursday in the district capital.