International students still seeking a room this autumn will be able to stay in one of 180 relief housing rooms on the Peizerweg and the Metaallaan in Groningen for seven euros a night.
Translation by Hans de Preter and Traci White
According to Dagblad van het Noorden, the relief housing will cost seven euros a night and students will have to book a room for at least one week. The relief rooms will become available once the 120 furnished rooms in the Esdoornflat are booked: the student flats will cost 375 euros per month and come with their own kitchens.
Getting an exact student headcount is tricky for all Dutch universities: EU residents do not have to finalise their enrolment until either 31 August or 1 September, and universities typically only provide their definitive enrolment numbers in October.
The emergency housing is being made available as part of a covenant among the RUG, the Hanze, the municipality, the Groninger Student Union, SSH, ESN and several local housing corporations to improve housing in the city. One of the covenant’s short term goals is to ensure adequate reception and places for international students to sleep from mid-August.
Jorien Bakker, a spokesperson for the University of Groningen, told the Dagblad that the RUG, the Hanze and the municipality are “accepting responsibility for working to ensure that every international student has shelter in or near Groningen when they start their studies.”
University council faction party DAG told the Dagblad that emergency shelter in a dorm with room for 80 people and no place to cook should be free. “It is not the fault of international students that the University in Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences are growing faster than the city of Groningen can handle”, says Koen Marée. DAG has consistently campaigned to address the structural issues leading to foreign students in particular facing an uphill battle to find housing in the city.
Earlier in July, the municipality announced that 180 rooms would be available to students at the Esdoornflat and The Village,a short stay housing complex on the Peizerweg with an on-site restaurant and gym, with possible spill over at a former school on the Metaallaan in the city.