Despite Housing Shortage, Dutch Universities Continue to Admit International Students

people in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands continues to be a popular study destination for international students despite them facing struggles to find accommodation for the duration of their stay in the country, media reports said.

A report by De Telegraaf states that Dutch universities are still active in their international student recruitment as, according to them, the country is known as a happy place to live, but it is also affordable for students from overseas when it comes to tuition fees. Universities have also highlighted the scholarships the Netherlands offers students from several countries.

The same report points out that six Dutch universities will participate in an education fair held in Ankara, Turkey, next week, and some other institutions are expected to attend Baltic information days in Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn.

Earlier in the summer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) advised students from overseas not to travel to Amsterdam unless they have settled in the city in advance due to the housing crisis in the Netherlands, Erudera.com reports.

“We urge you not to come to Amsterdam for your studies unless you have secured proper housing by August 15, 2022. Without the guarantee of a residence, you will likely find yourself in an unsustainable position,” the University of Amsterdam said in an address to students, informing the latter that its list is extremely oversubscribed.

Universities in other Dutch cities have made a similar request to international students, warning them not to come to the city if they haven’t found housing beforehand. Some institutions asking students to find accommodation in advance are located in Maastricht and Utrecht.

In spite of that, in October, students in the Netherlands protested to express their dissatisfaction over the University of Amsterdam’s efforts to offer them accommodation, pointing out that the school continues to admit more international students despite the shortage of infrastructure. Students who joined the protest said that international students are choosing to study in the Netherlands under “empty promises” as their struggles with accommodation make it difficult for them to enjoy their study experience in the country.

Given that the lack of accommodation in the Netherlands is causing trouble for international students, the Dutch government has come together with students, private investors, housing associations, educational institutions, and municipalities to address the crisis. It launched the National Student Housing Action Plan earlier in September, which foresees the construction of 60,000 affordable student homes in eight years.

Recently, the University of The Netherlands (UNL) has revealed an increase of 7 percent in the number of international students enrolling at Dutch universities; however, it noted that in the previous years, there were more international students studying at the country’s universities.

image source: Ethan Hu | Unsplash

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