There are over 60 thousand beds in university residences foreseen in the Pnrr by 2026. But many structures built last year require prices close to market quotations. THE SKYWALL
The Pnrr could contribute at least in part to alleviating the problem of high rents for university students. The plan (THE SKY TG24 SPECIAL) in fact envisages the creation of 60,000 new beds for non-resident students in university residences. Just over 8,500 were created in 2022 – through existing properties or under construction – while the rest will have to arrive by 2026.
Through the Pnrr, Italy could recover part of the gap with other large European countries, which guarantee a decidedly higher percentage of bed places for university students. In Germany they are 12%, France they are 13.2% while in Italy they are slightly over 5% (about 50,000 beds for almost 700,000 non-residents).
Of the over 8,500 beds set up by the Pnrr with 300 million euros, 2,173 – therefore just over a quarter – were made available by entities affiliated with the right to study (Dsu) and by universities, which provide for rental fees agreed and established at the regional level. The remaining ones, not all, on the other hand have decidedly high tariffs, almost reaching the levels of the private market. The rankings published (first and second) by the Ministry of the University allow you to get an idea of the prices offered for a single room.
Single rooms at 800 euros per month
In Bologna, for example, an important real estate company has made 164 beds available paid with European funds at 800 euros a month for a studio flat. For students with a lower Isee, a discount reaches 720 euros. The Dsu tariffs, on the other hand, are decidedly lower: the maximum is 290 euros.
In Milan the situation does not change. For almost 600 beds for which around 18 million euros have been spent by the Pnrr, 767 euros are requested per month for a single room, excluding the electricity bill. This is for students with an ISEE of less than 20,000 euros, otherwise the price will increase. Also in Milan there are (few) rooms at 250 euros per month, as established by the Dsu rates of the Lombardy Region.
Unknowns on the next announcement
As regards the next 660 million euros to be spent to build the over 50,000 beds still to be put in place, there is still uncertainty about how resources will be allocated. There is no tender yet, while the Draghi government’s Aiuti-ter decree has established that private individuals have a primary role in the construction and management of the structures, even if not in agreement with the universities.
The risk of finding prices similar to the market ones in structures paid for by the Pnrr is therefore not averted. For its part, the government intends to “identify the average controlled cost for each bed at a territorial level”, to obtain a “15 per cent reduction”. In addition, the collection of expressions of interest aimed at public entities and state property has begun to identify unused structures that could be converted into university residences.
Certainly the race to reach the Pnrr targets and not lose European funds will require some compromises. Among the insiders there are those who believe such an ambitious goal is impossible to achieve. But even if 60,000 beds could be put in place, if they were mostly offered at market prices, they could not solve the problem of high rents against which students are protesting.