Student Housing Crisis: Netherlands to Build 60,000 Affordable Homes in 8 Years

dormitory rooms

In an effort to alleviate the student housing crisis, the Dutch government has introduced the National Student Housing Action Plan, aiming to build 60,000 affordable student homes between 2022 and 2030.

The government launched the plan in cooperation with students, municipalities, educational institutions, private investors, and housing associations, Erudera.com reports.

In addition, it said that efforts are being made to develop new management options to better control the number of international students in the Netherlands.

The plan is expected to begin with the accelerated construction of 37,500 flexible homes, which should be finished by 2024. Further on, the cabinet is investing €37 million for accommodation of special groups, under which scheme, student rent will be paid.

Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf said that there is a need to make something about the housing shortage, and the action plan will address challenges in this regard.

“It is clear to me that something has to be done about the room shortage. It takes students a lot of time, stress, and energy to get a room if it succeeds or they decide to stay at home after all,” Minister said.

International students have also been affected by the severe housing crisis in the Netherlands, forcing universities to set up temporary facilities to accommodate them.

As a result, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) advised international students not to come to Amsterdam without finding accommodation in advance. While calling on students not to move to the capital unless securing a proper place to live, the university said that its accommodation request list is extremely oversubscribed.

Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment, De Jonge, said that leaving home country to study abroad is a special moment for international students; thus, every student should have the chance to find a room as a necessary condition to study in a city far from home.

“To be able to make this choice, sufficient student housing is needed. That is why we are joining forces with various parties to offer 60,000 extra affordable student housing in the next 8 years to build,” De Jonge stressed.

115,068 international degree students chose the Netherlands as their study destination for the 2021/22 academic year, a 12 percent increase from the previous academic year. The international education agency Nuffic revealed that the majority of international students in the Netherlands come from Germany.

The government notes that due to the increase in the number of students, the student housing crisis might continue; hence more control on the influx of international students is needed. It said that at the beginning of next year, Minister Dijkgraaf is expected to propose statutory instruments to the House of Representatives, which will allow universities and colleges to control the number of international students without endangering the benefits that come from internationalization.

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