In Greece, thousands of students don’t have the opportunity to attend a university outside their hometown because their families’ low income can’t support a small apartment. But even if the students wish to stay at the Public Student Residence, they might not get in as the rooms are extremely limited. On the other hand, students who do eventually get a room in the residence, must live under poor conditions.
At the same time, in Serres, Northern Greece and in Larissa, central Greece, there are buildings which were built with the unique purpose of covering the needs of student housing and which nonetheless still remain empty. In other cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, rooms in residencies become available daily. However, instead of immediately being given to someone else on the waiting list, the rooms remain empty for months due to the extensive Greek bureaucracy.
A freshman student of the TEI of Athens said “If I won’t be accepted in the residence, I will have to go back home.” In many cities in Greece, hundreds of students are studying without anywhere to stay. Patras, in Peloponnese, is the a perfect example of this.”
Humidity is deteriorating the building of the Student Residence in Patras and rainy weather causes major leakage problems. A University of Patras student stated “The biggest issue is not to have a room at all. At this very moment, there are at least 50 students in the streets being continuously hosted from one place to another. In the past, if the residence’s rooms were not enough, the university was renting rooms in hotels for the students. Today, because of the ongoing crisis in Greece, the budget is restricted.”
At the Student Residence of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the rooms are extremely humid, the power is not always on, the plumbing is so old that its leaking could result in the flooding of a whole floor and leave another without water. And of course there is no Wi-Fi.
In Larissa, the residencies are rather new. The students have power and hot water but the heating is not always on. Moreover, next to the already existing residencies, there is a new building with 300 rooms ready for use which nonetheless remains empty. “This is pure negligence,” highlighted a student.