Most students in Netherlands living at home with parents
The combination of the student loan system and student housing shortage has resulted in most students in the Netherlands living at home with their parents instead of on their own, according to Kences. This year, 44 percent of students live away from their parental home, compared to 53 percent when the loan system was introduced (2015/16), the knowledge institute reported in its National Student Housing Monitor 2023.
The total number of students living away from home has increased compared to the 2015/16 academic year. According to Kences, this is because the share of international students has increased from 9 percent in 2015/16 to 16 percent now, and almost all international students need to find a place to live in the Netherlands.
Approximately 400,000 students live independently this year, though more would like to move into dorm rooms or other forms of student housing. Almost half of students living at home, 48 percent, said they couldn’t afford to move out on their own. Another 20 percent couldn’t find a suitable place to live.
The shortage of student housing has decreased compared to last year, from 27,000 to 23,700. According to Kences, this is partly due to 13,700 fewer new students in higher education and more student housing being built. But a worrying contributing factor is that fewer Dutch students are moving out of their parents’ homes, the knowledge institute said.
“The fact that fewer and fewer Dutch students are leaving home is bad news,” Jolan de Bie of Kences said. “We know that living in rooms contributes to students' and young people's well-being and social-emotional development. Leaving home is a natural step towards independence.”
According to Kences, moving out teaches young adults fundamental life skills, helps them develop their personal identity outside their family unit, helps build relationships with others, and helps manage expectations from those around them. It can be a permanent disadvantage if these skills aren’t learned in young adulthood. “Sufficient housing is therefore not only important for our knowledge economy but also essential for the happiness and personal development of students,” De Bie said.
The basic study grant was reintroduced this year. Kences expects that this will increase the student housing shortage again by helping with the affordability issue many students face.