The latest Ministry estimates show that student numbers are rising faster than expected. By at least 48,000 over the next eight years, according to the new monitor commissioned annually by Kences, the umbrella organisation of student housing organisations, and conducted by ABF Research. The ever-growing number of international students is the main explanation, but we are also seeing more and more Dutch university students, who are more likely to live in student accommodation than students in higher professional education.

Nearly half their money goes on rent

In Rotterdam, there is a ‘very tight housing market for students’, according to the monitor. Prices in Rotterdam are also high. On average, Rotterdam students pay 46 percent of their income on rent, equivalent to 540 euros a month on housing costs. That is 50 euros more than those students would want. Only in Arnhem, Ede and Utrecht is the difference between the desired and actual rental price greater.

Dutch students currently pay 46 percent of their income on rent, three percentage points more than in 2019. Of students still living at home, 43 percent have not chosen student accommodation because the rent is too high, according to a survey conducted this spring.

Studenten in hostels – Wouter Sterrenburg (4 of 1)

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Even though another 18,000 student residences are planned nationally up until 2025, if that prediction is right, there will still be an acute shortage of accommodation.

More housing is being built in Rotterdam too: in the coming three years, around 1,600 extra units for students must be provided. However, this will not reduce the pressure on the student housing market, says the report. The prognosis is that in the academic year ‘28/’29, another 4,500 students will need accommodation in Rotterdam, a growth of around 15 percent.

According to Kences director Jolan de Bie, the solution should mainly be sought in more student accommodation and good coordination between the housing market and education policy.


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An interesting development, says Kences, is that relatively more studios are being provided (double in nine years) and less accommodation where students share facilities. Director De Bie says this is due to the current rent and subsidy rules. “This means that building shared accommodation is not financially attractive, while studios are.” She feels this is very undesirable. Particularly for the welfare and social development of young students, shared facilities are better.