Plans in place for over a third of student rooms to be built by 2030
Plans exist for over a third of the intended number of student rooms needed by 2030, and most also have building locations. This was stated by Ardin Mourik, director of the National Action Plan for Student Housing. Last year, the Cabinet launched the National Action Plan for Student Housing. The objective is to build 60,000 affordable student homes by 2030 to address the student housing shortage.
This figure is based on the existing shortage and the expected increase in the number of students by 2030. The estimate does not include the effects of the proposed law to limit internationalization in higher education and the reintroduction of the basic grant.
The existing plans concern 20,000 rooms in 13 university cities affiliated with the Network of Knowledge Cities in the Netherlands, including Utrecht, Rotterdam, Leiden, Wageningen, and Groningen. Despite these plans, Mourik expressed uncertainty due to potential challenges like the nitrogen emissions issue.
"I'm optimistic because I see a strong determination to address the room shortage. Many new building plans have emerged in student cities. Still, a significant gap remains. If not addressed, we will miss the 2030 deadline," Mourik said.
Amsterdam is notably absent from the plans. "They are lagging as they haven't committed to setting target numbers for student rooms," Mourik noted. He has yet to receive plans from the Amsterdam municipality. "We are now broadening our approach in the region to see how we can meet the demand by working with municipalities around Amsterdam to alleviate the burden on the capital,” he added. With institutions like the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Vrije Universiteit (VU), the capital projects a need for an additional 13,000 to 16,000 student rooms by 2030.
The national student union LSVb believes the 60,000 student room target is "actually too low," vice chairman Job Vermaas said.
Mourik found this view "very premature.” "We don't know that yet. The number could be higher if more people want to live in student housing because of the basic grant." Kences, the knowledge center for student housing, plans to publish a new National Monitor for Student Housing in early September.
This week, introduction weeks for new university and higher education students started in many Dutch cities.
Reporting by ANP