Universities in particular will continue to attract more international students, the new National Monitor Student Accommodation predicts. The numbers coming here for their entire studies will grow by 34 percent in the coming eight years and the number of ‘credit mobile’ students, who spend a semester here, for example, will rise by 31 percent.

Huge challenge

“A huge challenge”, writes Kences, the knowledge centre for student accommodation providers, because all these international students need a room immediately when they arrive. University cities like Wageningen and Delft will have to build a lot of extra accommodation, because the number of Dutch students there is also set to grow in the next eight years: by an expected 17 percent, or 46 thousand students.

Also in Rotterdam the end of the shortage on the housing market is not yet in sight. Here the number of students is expected to grow by 5 percent, or about 13 thousand students.

Varies from city to city

In Higher Professional Education, the number of Dutch students has actually declined by 8 percent (22 thousand) and since the abolition of the basic student grant, the number of students living away from home has fallen from 53 to 48 percent. But that’s not enough to calm the housing market. At least not everywhere.

The housing shortage varies from city to city, according to the ‘pressure indicator’ in the monitor. This compares available accommodation in a city with the number of students wanting to live there. According to the Kences report, the housing market in Rotterdam has been ‘very tense’ for the last three years.

Action plan

This afternoon, a new action plan will be presented with “concrete solutions” to relieve the housing shortage. It does not state how much extra student accommodation will need to be built nationally, because the shortage and possible solutions vary considerably in each city.

The monitor reveals that last year, students living away from home paid an average of 450 euros a month for accommodation, after the deduction of rent subsidies. Three quarters of them have accumulated a student debt averaging 17,300 euros, considerably more than the average debt of students living at home: 8,400 euros.