¿Qué buscas?




Did you know that they are not-for-profit entities? And that they must have an extra-curricular educational project to be considered as such? We explain the differences between a residence hall and a university accommodation, and the advantages of this model in order to continue its operations up to six centuries after the appearance of the first hall of residence.


Law 49/2002 recognizes university residence halls as entities of special protection due to their charitable-educational nature*.


*Ordinance 2780

This difference between a university residence hall and a university accommodation has several implications:

  • The residence halls are legally recognized university centers, integrated into the University (they must always be attached to one) and maintain a service predisposition both for the university community and society as a whole.
  • The university residence halls have an important economic viability requirement, but their main objective is neither the generation nor the distribution of profits, since their horizon is eminently social.
  • Therefore, the commitment of residence halls is to reinvest the generated surpluses to improve their educational programs and facilities, or towards the university community in general.
  • The residence halls must have an educational project intended to supplement the purely academic knowledge that young people learn in their universities. More than 1,600 educational, cultural and leisure activities take place in these centers.



Much more than accommodation: educational activities and facilities.

  • Another difference between residence halls and student accommodation is that, since they are educational institutions, the students have access to multiple spaces that unite both coexistence and extracurricular programs: auditorium, theater, music rooms, photography and architecture rooms, mechanical and electronic workshops, sports fields, libraries, study rooms, etc.
  • In addition, the university residence halls have as their main purpose the development of a learning community where young people can come into contact with different disciplines that contribute to their holistic education: theater, sports, volunteering, photography, cultural trips, debate, chats, poetry, music, conferences…


3. Internal plurality and participation of students regarding the development of coexistence criteria and educational projects.

  • Another characteristic that distinguishes residence halls from student accommodation appears in Decree 2780/1973, which states that the corporate life of a residence hall will be organized with student participation through the bodies established in the Statutes and Regulations.
  • The most common bodies, among others, are the Students Assembly (in which all students are represented) and the Student Council (a group of representatives of all students elected by their peers by voting).
  • Coexistence takes place because learning transcends the merely academic context, acquiring a dimension that transmits universal values, such as freedom, respect, diversity, citizenship, responsibility, commitment, etc.

To summarize…

The residence halls…

  • They are university centers recognized by law

  • They are established as not-for-profit entities

  • They have an eminently social dimension.

  • They have an educational project.

  • They have spaces for coexistence and learning.

  • They operate under a democratic and deliberative structure.

  • They are spaces to teach civic values.

  • They encourage the development of extracurricular activities and allocate part of their budget for this purpose.

Student accomodations

(or other alternative accommodations)…

  • They are not university centers recognized by law

  • They have different legal entities, many of them being managed by investment funds.

  • Its dimension is purely economic.

  • They do not need to have an educational project.

  • They do not necessarily have to offer spaces for living and learning.

  • They do not operate under a democratic and deliberative structure.

  • They do not need to be spaces to teach civic values.

  • They are not required to offer extracurricular activities, and they do not allocate part of their budget to this purpose.