Higher education braces itself for a lack of student accommodation

Universities already foresee a lack of student accommodation in the forthcoming academic year. International students are even being advised to study elsewhere if they cannot find a place to live. TU/e also urges internationals not to travel to Eindhoven unless they have a room.

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Utrecht University is asking students not to come to Utrecht unless they have managed to find accommodation, amid concerns that students without suitable housing could get into “undesirable and stressful situations”, writes the Algemeen Dagblad. The newspaper goes on to report that the university is giving this advice “with a heavy heart”.

Eindhoven University of Technology has also issued a warning to future students on its website: “We advise you not to come to Eindhoven if you have not found accommodation before the start of the academic year.” The University of Groningen is making a similar appeal.

The University of Amsterdam is warning that finding accommodation takes “time and effort” and, like other institutions, makes an urgent appeal to students to start looking well in advance. VU Amsterdam too advises students to reconsider their study options if they have not found accommodation in time.

Recurring problem

The shortage of student accommodation is a recurring problem and led to further protests during the current academic year. International students find it particularly difficult because they generally have no network in the Netherlands. Meanwhile the number of international students at Dutch universities continues to grow steadily.

In September, a member of the Executive Board of Avans University of Applied Sciences offered rooms in her own home because of the shortage. It is also not unusual for students to end up on a campsite at the start of the academic year. The University of Amsterdam even went so far as to reserve cabins for students at a local campsite.

Increasing shortage

Kences, the umbrella organisation of student housing associations, said in October last year that the shortfall in accommodation for students has risen to around 26,500. That shortfall is likely to increase in the years ahead.

Housing minister Hugo de Jonge, said in April that he is working on a better matchbetween the number of students and the accommodation available, although it is not yet clear how he intends to bring this about.

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