Dutch Universities Struggling to Accommodate Increasing Number of Students This Year


The number of new students enrolled at universities in the Netherlands has increased this year by four percent compared to a year earlier, and institutions have been struggling to accommodate the increasing number of students.  

According to provisional figures released by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), more than 340,000 students have enrolled at Dutch universities during the 2021/22 academic year, Erudera.com reports.

Following the increase in student numbers, VSNU Chairman Pieter Duisenberg said that more international students could have an impact on Dutch universities themselves and added that there is a limit to the ability of Dutch universities to accommodate the rising number of international students.

According to him, the increase in the number of new students also has a “major financial consequence” for universities as the government is failing to manage the grants it provides per student.

“The number of students has doubled since 2000, but the government grant per student has fallen by 25 percent and continues to fall with this growth,” Duisenberg said.

The University of Amsterdam (UvA), which has been listed as one of the top universities in continental Europe as well as popular among Dutch and international students, has also reported that it is facing difficulties to keep up with the number of new students.

The total number of students at the university has increased by 6 percent this year compared to a year earlier, with the number of new international students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees increasing by 33 percent.

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) chair Geert ten Dam said that there isn’t sufficient space on campuses, the quality of education is also under pressure, and the groups of students are getting bigger.

“The groups are getting bigger, teachers have to supervise more theses; it is overflowing completely,” Ten Dam said.

According to figures released in the National Student Housing Monitor, the situation with student accommodation in the Netherlands has worsened over the past year, making it harder for those pursuing studies at the country’s universities to find an affordable place to live.

Data have shown that the Netherlands is short more than 26.000 homes, and only in September, hundreds of international students could not find accommodation during the new academic year.

The National Student Housing Monitor predicts a worsened situation in the next eight years, claiming that there will be some 57.000 students looking for places to live; nevertheless, it has been reported that by 2025, some 16,500 additional student residences will be built in the Netherlands.

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