The first increase in dormitory accommodation fees after nearly three years occurred last summer (with the exception of dormitories at Vinařská) after a massive increase in energy prices. In February this year, high inflation again necessitated an increase in the price. Masaryk University management is fully aware of the sensitivity of this issue and is not taking today’s student protest against the rising MU dormitory fees lightly. It has decided not to ask the students to bear the full brunt of rising energy prices and covered the balance of energy prices and the new dormitory fees from MU reserves. Therefore, despite the 280% increase in energy prices since 2019, the dormitory fee has only increased by CZK 57 per bed/day.
As regards rising inflation, an inflation clause is included in each accommodation contract. Although the annual inflation rate is usually published by the Czech Statistical Office in January, Masaryk University declared as early as November that the adjusted dormitory fee would not be increased for the full inflation rate. The university decided to cap inflation adjustment to a maximum of 15% in order to reduce the economic impact on students.
The adjusted dormitory prices were discussed with faculty and student representatives well in advance. The current adjustment for inflation was discussed at the November meeting of the MU Accommodation Board, which also includes student representatives, and the dormitory boards were informed of this decision at this regular meeting.
MU students in a difficult economic situation can apply for an accommodation grant. Currently, this grant amounts to approximately CZK 3,100 per semester. The sum of all accommodation grants paid by MU in the previous calendar year totalled over CZK 102 million. Students may also qualify for a social bursary, the amount of which for this calendar year is set by law to CZK 4,325 per month. Additionally, Masaryk University also provides bursaries to students who suddenly find themselves in a difficult life situation.
Masaryk University students can currently seek accommodation in nine dormitory complexes of various ages and modernisation levels. Accommodation in dormitories is still price competitive for students despite the recent increases in fees. The amount of dormitory fee is final and includes all utilities, so Masaryk University students do not have to worry about additional heat, electricity or gas bills, as is often the case with private accommodation.
All details concerning the economic management of MU Accommodation and Catering Services (ACS) are included in MU Annual Financial Reports, including data on the ACS’s loss due to the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, which MU covered from its own resources. Masaryk University strives for the efficient operation of buildings according to the principles of modern energy management, which is a very complex process that starts with building design and construction. MU has also adopted energy-saving measures, maintains the internal temperature in all buildings at 21 °C to avoid excessive heating and promotes the Ten Principles for Saving Energy.