University of Malta students have certainly built a thick skin over the years, considering what they have to put with. From academic frustrations with timetable clashes and the endless waiting for exam results to come out, to crucial services meant to be at a student’s disposal leaving much to be desired.
Today was yet another example of the resolve and grit of that thick being put to the test. FreeHour took to its social media presence to announce the car park tariffs at which Campus Hub Malta will start charging to those who use its car park facilities, mostly UoM students.
The newly announced tariffs would see students being charged by the hour should they use Campus Hub’s car park, with it only being completely free for a mere 15 minutes, or 2 hours when purchasing items from their shopping outlets. The highest rates go up to €6.50 for between 5 and 13 hours, and up to €12 should anyone park their car at Campus Hub for a whole day.
This means that if a student has a single lecture during the day, they will have to pay a minimum €2.50. On the other hand, students with back-to-back lectures, meaning 4 hours, would have to pay €5.50, an insane amount for a full-time student.
Needless to say, this announcement was met with a negative reception from university students, with many describing it as a slap in the face, downright disrespectful and inconsiderate. They’re not wrong.
The current situation vis-à-vis parking at UoM sees students wake up at the most ungodly hours of the morning with the hope of making it to the university in time to find good parking for their first lectures.
With parking always difficult to find, and impossible during peak lecture hours, the opening of Campus Hub’s parking was a godsend to many. While never free, previously costing €2 per day, it was seen as worthwhile to students who are unwilling to spend 30 minutes driving around trying to find an empty spot, or to use Malta’s notoriously inefficient public transport.
Campus Hub is trying to offer 100 parking cards at €150 for 3 months, less than a full semester, as a ‘discount’ to previous prices. This however would only be worthwhile to those who use the car park every single day, which is safe to say an absolute minority of the car park’s users.
Campus Hub was meant to be a centre for student accommodation and a plaza of goods and services to cater for them. Pricing something as basic as parking to much more than a student’s full monthly stipend is just ridiculous.
All this is a sad reflection on the sorry state of our society, when a necessity such as parking and transport have essentially become a luxury, in a world where students are already burdened by the balancing of study, work, their families and personal lives. With rising inflation and the absurd increases in the cost of living, isn’t this cash grab the last thing UoM students needed at this time in their lives?
Written by: Jacob Callus
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not reflective of ‘A Bird’s Eye View’ as a whole.
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