Universities and colleges can take on a lot of students, but where should they all live? Minister of Housing Hugo de Jonge wants to better match the number of students with the number of available housing opportunities.
Last week, the House of Representatives entered into a debate with Minister De Jonge about the housing shortage. This also concerned student housing. Especially at the start of the academic year, students often end up on a camping site instead of in a student house. This problem only seems to have got worse in recent years due to the increasing number of international students.
The MPs came up with different ideas. Temporary housing can provide students with short-term relief, D66 thought. Why don't we build student campuses based on the American model, Group Van Haga suggested. And the ChristenUnie would rather see “proper student houses with a cozy living room and a kitchen that is perhaps a bit too dirty” than studios where loneliness is lurking.
But isn't adding more students like mopping with the tap open? ”If a university takes on a lot of students, then there will also be housing issue,” said Minister De Jonge. He believes that “the number of students a university takes on and the number of housing options should match better”.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science confirms that discussions are underway with Minister De Jonge about solutions for student housing. “This includes the growing student numbers.” But it does not mean that there will be an admissions stop because there are no rooms, he assures, because “that is impossible”.
The universities want to be given the opportunity to slow down the influx of international students, but that will take some time. The universities of the Netherlands have announced that they are now calling on municipalities to come up with more student housing.