Student unions: many international students homeless

According to the Dutch Student Union (LSVb) and the Groningen Student Union (GSb) yet again this year the shortage of rooms for international students is soaring. But according to the student housing providers the situation is actually not so bad. In Eindhoven at least there is no cause for panic; as far as is known all of TU/e's 'internationals' have housing.

Going back home

For example, a British student who had spent weeks looking for a room disenrolled from his university and has now returned home. “Such stories would seem to be exceptional but are a frequent occurrence in the large student cities,” writes the LSVb.

According to the Groningen Student Union (GSb) students from abroad are also on the streets because universities of applied sciences and universities are doing too little to help them find housing. Conversely, together with their municipality, the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences have furnished temporary accommodation to cater for a hundred students.

That, says the GSb, isn't a long-term solution, and so chairperson Sjoerd Kalisvaart is urging the institutions to take action: “Start by making sure that students have a roof over their heads. How can anyone concentrate on studying when they don't even know where they are going to sleep?”

“Fewer excesses”

Last week Kences, the alliance of student housing providers, informed the HOP  that the housing  shortage among internationals is probably less severe than it used to be. According to director Ardin Mourik there are still significant problems in Utrecht and the Western Conurbation (the Randstad), but there are “fewer excesses”.

As far as is known to Education and Student Affairs (ESA), the TU/e service, new international students at TU/e all have accommodation: 90 students with housing provider Vestide and 330 with their colleagues at Camelot. "Moreover, there are still rooms available in the Student Hotel," explains Peggy van de Voort of ESA. "So that's  always an option."

At the University of Amsterdam, where five hundred foreign students were still on the waiting list in July, the shortage doesn't appear to be so bad. The magazine Folia reports that 34 students are still waiting for a room. Exactly a year ago, hundreds were roaming the city.

At Wageningen University the room shortage is significant among mainly first-year students who are Dutch nationals. Almost 40 percent of the Dutch  students who want to live in rented rooms have not yet managed to find somewhere, compared with 10 percent of the international students.   

Share this article