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Netherlands: student accommodation shortages to double by 2024-25

Student accommodation shortages in the Netherlands are expected to double by the 2024-25 academic year according to Kences, a knowledge centre for student housing based in the country.

Student accommodation shortages in the Netherlands are expected to double by the 2024-2025 academic year. Photo: Pexels

There will be 103,000 more students at colleges and universities than previously predicted

Last year, a study published by Kences showed that some 22,000 students had been impacted by housing shortages. Jolan de Bie, the organisation’s director, told Trouw that by 2024-25, this number will have risen to at least 50,000.

 “We now expect a shortage of at least 50,000 student housing in 2024-2025”

This figure could actually represent the best case scenario if plans to build 18,000 student residences by 2024 are successful. 

The Dutch Ministry of Education released new forecasts last spring saying that in the 2024-25 academic year, there will be 103,000 more students at colleges and universities than previously predicted. 

“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.”

It is thought that international students will contribute significantly to the predicted growth and according to Kences students from within the European Union in particular will choose the Netherlands more often than before, now that it is less easy for them to go to the UK. 

Universities across the Netherlands have taken measures to address the issue.

“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.  

“Students may experience difficulties in finding [rooms]”

The university is now looking into realising temporary housing facilities that may solve it for the current group of students. 

In a statement, the university said that earlier in August the severity of the current shortage of student accommodation came to light. 

“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 added that various factors play a role in the current shortage of student rooms, with an unexpected increase in the number of new students requiring extra capacity. It is a problem that is not solely regional but exists all over the Netherlands.

The issue of housing shortages has affected international students in the Netherlands for several years. In 2017 following housing shortages, students resorted to staying in a campsite in Utrecht or a refugee centre in Groningen that was reopened to help ease a housing shortage in student cities.

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