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UU to international students: ‘No housing? Stay away’

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Universities can see next year’s housing shortage coming already. UU says that international students who haven’t found housing in time should stay home. At the same time, 200 new student rooms for international students are being set up in Maarssen.

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With this advice, the university wants to prevent students from ending up in “undesirable, stressful situations”, says internationalisation advisor Lenn Lamkin on the UU site. She’s heard the stories of students who had to pay exorbitant prices for hotel rooms, or had to spend a long time couch surfing at friends’ places.

In the same message, the university states it’s found housing for 200 international students in Maarssen. For no more than 675 euros a month, they can live in brand-new studios in the new housing complex Boomerang at Het Kwadrant. In total, the university is reserving 1,150 rooms at numerous housing providers. The UU has almost 5,000 international students.

Time and effort
Eindhoven University of Technology is also warning its prospective students on its website: “We advise you not to come to Eindhoven if you haven’t found housing before the start of the academic year.” Groningen University is making the same plea.

The University of Amsterdam is sticking to a warning that states finding a room costs ‘time and effort’, and like other institutions, strongly urges students to start looking for housing on time. Amsterdam VU University is also advising its students to reconsider their studies if they haven’t found housing on time.

Recurring issue
The housing shortage is a recurring issue, and has once again led to protests this year. International students especially tend to fall by the wayside, because they don’t have a network here yet. And it’s that same group of students that’s steadily growing bigger.

In September, one board member at Avans University of applied sciences offered rooms in her own house, as a result of the shortage. It’s not unusual for students to end up on a campsite in the first weeks of the academic year, either. The University of Amsterdam even reserved cabins on a campsite for its students.

Increasing shortage
The shortage in student housing has by now reached around 26,500 rooms, stated Kences, umbrella organisation for student housing organisations, in October of last year. That shortage is expected to increase these coming years.

Hugo de Jonge, minister for housing, said in April that he’s working on improving the matching between the number of students and the number of available rooms, although it remains unclear how he intends to do so.

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