Hundreds of first years again starting studies with no place to sleep, union says
Hundreds of first-year students will start their studies in September with no place to sleep, student union LSVb said on Thursday. “Last year, it went completely wrong, but this year it seems to be much worse,” said LSVb president Joram van Velzen. The number of first-year students is considerably higher than the number of beds available in peak care.
In Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam offers housing to about 3,000 first-year international students, but 4,500 international students have applied and the application period is not yet closed, the LSVb said. In June, the VU University Amsterdam said that 1,800 more students had applied than it had beds available in peak care. In Groningen, the educational institutions said they need about 260 beds in peak shelters, but so far only managed to arrange 111. In Nijmegen, there are 165 fewer beds than expected international students.
According to the student union, some institutions blame the lack of peak beds on the crisis in asylum shelter - beds are needed for asylum seekers sleeping outside the registration center in Ter Apel. “But that is only part of the cause,” Van Velzen said.
“It is also financially attractive for educational institutions to recruit many international students because of how our educational institutions are funded.” The system finances educational institutions for every student registered, so the more students, the more money. “There is a perverse incentive to bring as many students as possible here, without thinking about where those students should live,” Van Velzen said.
“At the moment, municipalities and educational institutions need to pull out all the stops to ensure that no students sleep on the streets in September,” Van Velzen said.