International students driving increasing demand for student housing

Student room (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Speurt)Student room (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Speurt)

The demand for student housing in the Netherlands will continue to increase in the coming years. This can completely be attributed to an increase in the number of international students studying in the Netherlands, according to the annual National Student Housing Monitor by the knowledge center for student housing Kences.

In the next eight years, the number of students living away from home is expected to increase by 4 percent, or 14,900 students. This increase is completely due to international students. The number of Dutch students living away from their parents is expected to decrease by 12,600 during this period, while the number if international students is expected to rise by 27,500. Dutch students have the option of staying with their parents while they study, international students don't. Which means that more housing will have to be developed fro them, Kences director Paul Tholenaars said to NRC.

A group of people recently occupied a building on Akerkstraat in Groningen, to draw attention to the need for more student housing in the city, Dagblad va het Noorden reports. The police cleared them from the building on Thursday morning. Shortly before the police arrived, the group of students released a statement saying that they will leave the building. "We are pleased that, partly thanks to this action, we have put the student housing crisis on the [city council] agenda. We hope that the municipality will actually realize their intention to facilitate affordable and long-term accommodation for students", they said. 

In the 2018/2019 academic year, 368 thousand students lived away from home. That is 53 percent of the total number of students, down from 56 percent four years ago. According to the report, affordability is the main influencer in students' choice to leave home. The abolition of the basic study grant, combined with increasing rents made it harder to afford student accommodation. Half of the students still living at home said that they're staying with their parents because of high rents. 17 percent have no need to live on their own, and 16 percent simply could not found suitable accommodation.

The abolition of the basic study grant seems not to have had an effect on students' choice of where they want to study. Of the students still living with their parents, only 13 percent lived in the same city as their university or university of applied sciences.

Of the students living away from home, 71 percent lived in the city where they are studying. 55 percent of these students lived in a room with shared facilities. 26 percent lived in self-contained accommodation.