Netherland expresses fear for scarcity of student housing
According to Kences, a student housing knowledge centre headquartered in the Netherlands, student housing shortages are anticipated to double by the 2024-25 academic year.
According to a report issued by Kences last year, 22,000 students were affected by accommodation constraints. According to Jolan de Bie, the organization's head, this number will have increased to at least 50,000 by 2024-25.
If plans to create 18,000 student homes by 2024 are realised, this amount might reflect the best-case scenario. According to revised projections issued by the Dutch Ministry of Education this spring, there will be 103,000 more students at colleges and universities in the 2024-25 academic year than previously expected.
“About half of the students live away from home,” De Bie, told Trouw. “That is why we now expect a shortage of at least 50,000 student housing in 2024-25.”
International students are expected to contribute considerably to the predicted growth, with students from inside the European Union, in particular, choosing the Netherlands more frequently than previously, given that travel to the United Kingdom is more complicated. Several universities in the Netherlands have taken steps to address the problem.
“We are well aware of the projected growth of students in the Netherlands – also in Enschede – and, therefore, increased demand for student housing,” Laurens van der Velde, a spokesperson for the University of Twente, told The PIE News.
“The prognosis is not new and is already on the table as we discuss how we can accommodate that with our local and regional partners.
“In the ambitions of the local housing providers and city council, a growth of 900 student rooms is foreseen for the upcoming years.
“We will be monitoring the developments closely to make sure there’s a healthy balance in supply and demand. In the long run, there shouldn’t be too many difficulties, either for Dutch or international students,” he said.
Van der Velde said that the University of Twente has, however, experienced a “sudden peak” in new students this year that is “causing difficulties”.
“So there is a short-term issue. We know many stories of students who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to find student accommodation, and we do know it won’t be easy in the next few weeks, too,” he added.
The institution is currently investigating the possibility of establishing temporary housing facilities for the current batch of students. The institution noted that the seriousness of the present student housing scarcity was revealed earlier in August.
“As students are looking for a room for the start of the new academic year, they may experience difficulties in finding one.
“Especially for international students, there are hardly any other solutions if they do not have a room from the start of the academic year,” the university said.
The University of Twente noted that several causes contribute to the present student room crisis, including an unanticipated surge in the number of new students who require additional space. It's not just a localised issue; it's a nationwide one in the Netherlands.
For some years, international students in the Netherlands have been plagued by housing shortages. Due to housing constraints in 2017, students resorted to sleeping at a campground in Utrecht or a reopened refugee centre in Groningen to assist a housing scarcity in student cities.