University of Algarve wants to transform the Superior School of Health into a university residence

Academia Algarvia believes that, if feasible, the new residence will help students to find affordable accommodation.

The University of Algarve will study the economic feasibility of transforming the former premises of the Escola Superior de Saúde, next to Teatro das Figuras, into Faro, in a new university residence.

This decision follows the adhesion of the Algarve academy to the National Fund for the Rehabilitation of Buildings (FNRE), formalized this Monday, 12 November, in Tomar.

For Paulo Águas, dean of UAlg, «knowing if it is economically viable to transform the premises of the former building of the Escola Superior de Saúde, into a university residence, is an indispensable condition for the ongoing decision-making process».

According to the University of Algarve, «the transformation of the building into a residence, situated between the two fields (Gambelas and Penha) and with good connection to the urban transport network, it will make a strong contribution to alleviate the difficulties currently experienced by displaced students in finding affordable accommodation».

The National Fund for Rehabilitation of Buildings is managed by Fundiestamo, with the involvement of the Social Security Capitalization Fund Management Institute, and «will promote the offer for higher education students and families who, not being needy, have difficulty finding housing befits the values ​​they can withstand,” explains UAlg.

This fund does not involve funds from the State Budget, nor does it oblige entities to go into debt or consume their own capital.

According to the president of Fundiestamo, Alberto Souto Miranda, "the properties involved represent a total of 19 million euros, to which must be added 18 million for works, in a total investment of 37,7 million euros".

Currently, the Social Action Services of the University of Algarve have nine University Residences, with 558 beds, intended for initial training students and masters, but they are «fully full».

The residences are distributed by Faro, Gambelas and Portimão and have different structures, organized by residential type buildings or apartments.

Teachers and researchers (national and foreign) can also count on the support of UAlg's Social Action Services, which provide six residences, with a global capacity of 56 beds.

In addition to UAlg, the Universities of Coimbra and Évora and the Polytechnic Institutes of Coimbra and Leiria signed a protocol with the FNRE.

In June, the dean's idea to occupy the School of Health building was different, as he announced in an interview with Sul Informação, who there was the “intention to transfer the Visual Arts course to the Health Campus”.

However, the School of Health is already fully operational on the Campus of Gambelas, since the beginning of this school year, a decision that provoked opposition from the students, with the Academic Association of UAlg showing itself 'uncomfortable' with change.