The city of Groningen is once again facing a housing shortage for international students.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the number of international students is expected to rise yet again this academic year, but the city is 500 rooms shy of being able to house them all. A prognosis published earlier this week showed that student registration numbers continue to rise, but registrations almost certainly exceed the actual number of students who will end up studying in Groningen. Not every student who registers ultimately enrols and attends the university.
Around 2,000 rooms are available for international students through SSH (Stichting Studenten Huisvesting) – foreign students can live in one of SSH’s rooms for up to a year. SSH works on behalf of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences to provide short stay accommodations.
Finding a room on the private market remains challenging for many internationals: hundreds of rooms listed on rental sites specify that future housemates need to speak Dutch or be a member of a student organisation. Many listings straight up say “no internationals.”
Based on the projected numbers for September, around 500 additional rooms will be needed to house all of the incoming international students. The municipality is looking into the possibility of housing students outside of the city limits and is considering creating temporary housing in the city, a so-called “sleep-in”, like they did in 2017. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year, there was a room shortage of 300 units.
The academic institutions, the municipality and locally operating housing corporations are working together on a steering committee to try and make sure no students end up on the street. Although construction projects for additional housing is underway, demand continues to exceed supply. Two properties came onto the market this year – 180 studios at the Oosterhamrikkade and 125 short stay rooms at Suite 23 – but another block of flats housing 176 international students at Van Houtenlaan is no longer available.
By 2020, there should be an additional 1,500 rooms available for foreign students in particular, and growth figures project that another 1,500 will be needed on top of that in the years to come. The University of Groningen’s goal is to have 10,000 international students by 2025.
|Accommodations added to the market
Oosterhamrikkade: 180 studios
Van Swietenlaan/Suite 23: 125 short stay units
Hoogeweg: 231 short stay units, 225 studios
Vrydemalaan: 240 short stay units
Pleiadenlaan: 224 short stay units
Reitemakersreige: 200 studios
Friesestraatweg: 500 short stay units