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Government to introduce student housing measures

university of cyprus
File photo: The University of Cyprus

The government will soon introduce measures to deal with housing issues faced by students at Cypriot universities, Education Minister Athena Michaelidou said on Wednesday, as a debate on the housing and transport for university goers was held in parliament.

Speaking later after a meeting with the ministers of interior, finance and labour, plus President Nikos Christodoulides, Michaelidou said the government will announce measures soon.

The issue of affordable housing and providing better transport to the universities from the city centre were also discussed during the House education committee, where MPs said that solutions need to be found.

During the discussion, the need for more frequent intercity and urban bus routes to and from the higher educational institutions of Cyprus was emphasised, while the possibility of changing the operating hours of public transport means was considered, to serve the transportation of students from the district to district.

Head of the committee Diko MP Pavlos Mylonas said relevant agencies reported to the committee that “70 per cent of students use private cars, noting the need to cultivate a culture of using public transport.”

In relation to the housing problem, he said there is not enough accommodation, and the demand is huge, adding that “long-term solutions should be found.”

Following the discussion, opposition Disy MP Giorgos Karoullas said that proposals the party has prepared include the movement of students from other districts by means of public transport, with direct routes to and from the universities, a proposal to discount electricity for students based on criteria and incentives to increase the number of student residences.

Opposition Akel MP Christos Christofides said many students decide not to accept positions at universities in Cyprus due to serious financial problems and due to the cost of rent.

The government must, he said, examine how aid to students to cover their basic needs and requested intervention for public transportation fees.

 

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