Not all new international students have yet arrived, but it seems the housing situation for the EUR’s internationals has been brought under control.

Text: Korneel Luth

Last year a massive shortage of housing units emerged which resulted in international students resorting to hostels, staying with friends or even to live in caravans. Later, more problems were brought to light by Belgian student Barnabé Lacroix concerning the students’ apartments. He raised the alarm with fellow student Willem Kistemaker because the living units were overpriced and dirty, and students could not move somewhere else after they had signed their ten-month contract with apartment supplier Stadswonen. Two hundred students signed his petition. An independent commission chaired by Arthur Ringeling investigated the entire housing situation and concluded that the university had failed in how it handled the housing issue. It also issued a series of recommendations and the university acted.


One of the recommendations was for the appointment of a central person for anyone in the EUR with a problem around the housing of international students to go to. Bas Takens of the university’s facility centre (EFB) has become this contact person together with the head of EFB, Kees Lansbergen. Takens says that this year there are 150 more living units available for international students than last year. He has not received any calls with problems yet. “In previous years, in late August the pressure was enormous”, he says. This year is different. Some living units are still available, also in the newly opened F/G building. “And as the vast majority of the incoming students have already taken care of their living arrangements, there cannot be a crisis like there was last year.” In addition to this, Takens stresses that students are also better informed about the costs and other details which should prevent complaints and problems later on. The students now know what they can expect. The improvement is also felt at faculty level. Joyce Maliepaard who handles recruitment and admissions at RSM’s MSc programmes describes the situation as “good”. She says that this year there are no problems at all.

Contact person

Another positive change is communication with housing corporation Stadswonen. Each building in Rotterdam housing international students will now have a contact person who will mediate between students and Stadswonen in case of a problem. Barnabé Lacroix and Willem Kistemaker have themselves become contact persons in the F/G building where they will soon move into. An interesting deal, as they are exempted from paying the rent for this position.

The availability of more apartments therefore, and the other measures taken, many of those recommendations by the independent Ringeling Comission, seem to be having a profound effect. Good news for both the university and its international students.

F/G Building opens

After months and years of delays, the F/G building was opened on 24 August. During the coming weeks, more than a hundred international students will make this building their home. The campus building was internally redesigned to make it suitable for student habitation. With a floor space of 22 square meters, the apartments are relatively spacious, but with a monthly rent of 525 euro they are also relatively expensive. The apartments are nice though, with a kitchenette, enough light, a wardrobe and two chairs, among other things. In addition, the communal areas are cleaned regularly and students who come to live here will receive a discount in the campus sports centre, including on food served there. The opening of the F/G building does not come a moment too soon. In fact it should have been in use for more than two years already but the opening was delayed a number of times due licensing problems with the city of Rotterdam and complaints by neighbours of the campus fearing noise and other problems.