Many Gozitan students have to rent out an apartment during the scholastic year since the University of Malta does not provide any housing for its students. The Ministry for Gozo gives out a grant for such costs which is that of €500 per three months but for some this is simply not enough to cover the costs. Rent prices in Malta are skyrocketing and not everyone can keep up with them.
Last year, when the Ministry of Gozo was still under Justyne Caruana, they proposed a new grant for the students – a grant which consisted of an extra €900 a year. This looks good on paper. However, this was just another PR scheme to make politicians look good without actually helping anyone except their reputations and themselves.
This scheme comes with a lot of terms and conditions which not many Gozitan tenants living in Malta meet.
For starters, in order to get the grant for this scheme you have to be sharing an apartment between three people or less. Some of you might think this makes sense because if there are only three people or less, the rent is higher than if you were sharing an apartment between four people or more.
The thing is – most students sharing an apartment between three or less are the same students who are lodging in apartments owned by their own family members so their rent is significantly cheaper than those that are renting from non-family members. Furthermore, those sharing an apartment between three people or less that are not related to the owner are few as most Gozitans rent in groups of four or five resulting in only a handful of people getting this extra €900 scheme.
Therefore, the scheme is not benefiting enough Gozitans. This is by no account fair! Is this surprising? Not really. Most politicians are in it for self-gratification and profit anyways.
Undoubtedly, there is promise in such a scheme but it’s going to need a better set of terms and conditions and a whole lot more planning if its ever going to benefit the Gozitan student.