Ombudsman finds foreign students discriminated against in subsidised housing

The Equal Opportunities Ombudsman recommended to the Ministry of education, Science and Sport to change the higher education act following an analysis that found the act discriminates against foreign students in subsidised housing.

The analysis was conducted at the proposal of a custodian of a student who has lived permanently in the country for over a decade but does not have Slovenian citizenship.

Despite meeting all other requirements to get a subsidised dorm bed, she cannot apply because she is not a citizen.

Meanwhile, citizenship is not a condition to enrol in university nor to get a scholarship. In these cases permanent residence or tax residence is enough.

The ombudsman finds that providing state-subsidised housing only to student with Slovenian citizenship is inadmissible because access to advantages guaranteed by law must be enabled to all persons in a similar position.

The ombudsman also says that subsidised housing is a social right and under Slovenian legislation these are guaranteed to all residents irrespective of citizenship.