In the previous academic year, far fewer first-year students rented rooms. According to providers of student accommodation, the number more than halved following the introduction of the student loan system. Nevertheless, the housing shortage has not yet been solved in all areas.
From last year, new students no longer received the basic grant. Studying is considerably more expensive for them and it is probably for this reason that they postpone their move out of the parental home. But how many students actually continue to live with their parents?
Young bachelor degree students continue to live at home
Student accommodation organisation Kences combined figures of the Education Executive Agency (DUO) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The number of starting bachelor degree students who are a maximum of 19 years old and who opt to live on their own decreased from 28 percent in 2014/15 to 13 percent in the previous academic year. The number of older students living on their own remained the same.
In Rotterdam, almost 45 percent of young students who were starting their programmes in 2014/15 were renting their own accommodation. In the past academic year, the share of students who were living on their own fell sharply to less than 25 percent. Young students are also continuing to live with their parents in cities like Delft, Enschede and Eindhoven for longer.
The trend referred to does not mean that there is no longer a housing shortage. The number of students currently living in the parental home is too small to have a significant effect in this regard. In addition, as Mourik explained, an increasing number of international students who require accommodation are arriving in the Netherlands.
Distance should not be the reason that a student does not take up the study of his or her choice
Kences director Ardin Mourik predicted last year that the number of students living at home would increase following the repeal of the basic grant. “We must now conclude that this expected increase has indeed occurred,” he stated on Thursday in a press release. He is worried that the current situation will limit students’ freedom of choice in terms of studying in a particular city.
Jan Sinnige, chair of Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO), an umbrella organisation that represents all university and university of applied sciences students in the Netherlands, shares this concern. “It would be wrong of us to allow the financial factor to prevent a student from taking up the study of his or her choice. If a student from Middelburg discovers that his or her ideal programme is available in Groningen, distance should not be the reason that the student decides against enrolling in that programme.”