Hotels, youth hostels and short-term lets units in Portugal will provide an additional 4,500 beds for university students, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) has announced.

In total, more than 18,000 beds are now available for university students, in conditions of comfort, quality and safety, when in the previous school year there were about 16,000.

The government highlighted the reinforcement of the capacity of public accommodation for students, underlining that this is a result of strategic cooperation with the tourism sector, keeping jobs and making structures profitable that, given the decrease in tourism demand, face a challenging future.

According to the government, the increase in beds results from agreements established with Movijovem and several organisations representing hotels and short-term lets.

The ministry said that the agreements will begin to be signed on 21 and 22 September, in public ceremonies in Porto, Vila Real and Lisbon.

In the note to the media, the ministry shared a table on the impact of measures to combat Covid-19 in the 2020/2021 school year on student residences, as a result of the adaptations set by the health authorities.

Currently, there are 12,855 public beds, to which another 1,100 beds are added through protocols with municipalities and private institutions, for a total of 13,955, to which are now added the 4,500 announced, for a total of 18,455 beds, starting in October.

The measures to prevent Ccovid-19 resulted in a general reduction in the number of beds available in student residences, except the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, which registered an increase of 111 beds, and the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda and ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, which maintained last year’s offers.

In total, there are 15% fewer beds in the student residences this year (corresponding to 2,218 beds).

This decrease is compensated by the increase of beds through protocols with municipalities and private institutions (from 892 to 1,100), but, above all, by the premiere of private residences (local accommodations and hotels).

Simultaneously, and according to the same table, there is a general decrease in prices per room.

Even so, Lisbon can reach €500 (the maximum value was €593 in September 2019), Porto €421 (it was €460 on the same date). The third case, Braga, shows a decrease in minimum and average prices, but the maximum value rises to €375 (it was €353 in September 2019).

The number and type of beds available are constantly updated in the Student Accommodation Digital Observatory (, an online platform that identifies the private offer of accommodation for students, the areas where higher education students are housed and the rents practised at a national level, as well as the level of occupation and the evolution of the public offer of beds in student residences.