Several Dutch universities, including those in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Maastricht, are asking foreign students to reconsider their choice of studies, given the shortage of student accommodation in these cities.
Those who have not found a place to stay by early August are being advised to consider turning to other institutions, a spokeswoman for the Free University of Amsterdam told the Dutch news agency, ANP, confirming information from Het Parool newspaper.
Since early 2022, the Free University of Amsterdam has been warning about the difficulty of finding a room in the Dutch capital. The same goes for Utrecht, where young people without accommodation prospects have been called upon to consider studying elsewhere.
This is a “painful request, because international talent is important for our teaching and our branches of research,” the institution said at the time.
At the start of the last academic year, more than 26,000 students in the Netherlands did not have a place to live, according to the Kences knowledge center on student accommodation. The University of Twente, in the east, had then asked young people without lodging to turn to other cities.
The number of young foreigners enrolled in higher education in the Netherlands went up by 12% in the last academic year, reaching a total of 115,000, according to Nuffic, the Dutch organization for the internationalization of education.
These young people make up a quarter of the student population in Amsterdam and up to 56% in Maastricht. However, available accommodation has not kept up with their numbers, and foreign students generally cannot rely on an already established network to find a room.
As a result, some fell back on holiday accommodation and small hotels during the coronavirus crisis.