Housing and education. Those are the political themes that affect all students attending EUR, and also the political themes they tend to be most interested in, judging from the election student debate and the interviews we had with students who are standing for election. So this is Erasmus Magazine’s guide to what the fifteen biggest political parties in the city said about those subjects in their election manifestos.

Diversity, climate change and nightlife

Although student housing and education are generally the subjects in which EUR students are most interested, they may not be the only subjects in which you are interested. Previously, the online magazine Vers Beton wrote on what the various Rotterdam-based political parties have to say on the subject of diversityclimate change and nightlife.


Although this political party has only been around for a few years, its candidates have some ambitious plans with regard to housing. BIJ1 wants half the available homes in the city to be designated social housing. It is not clear which percentage of this is supposed to be student housing. Furthermore, the party wants vacant office blocks to be converted into apartments for young people.

The party does not have a very strong vision with regard to higher education. It wants every education institute (schools and universities alike) to establish a diversity committee whose duty is to determine whether the student body is sufficiently diverse.


The Christian party aspires to put a stop to verkamering, the practice whereby homes built for families are converted into student bedsits, as the party feels that it negatively affects the liveability of residential neighbourhoods. However, the party is keen to emphasise that this is not supposed to be an ‘anti-student measure’, and is very much in favour of more student housing. The CDA, too, hopes to convert office buildings into student flats so as to fix the housing shortage issue.

Apart from this, the party does not go into tertiary education, although it does want to involve student societies, study societies and student sports clubs more into municipal policy-making. The party’s manifesto does not explain how it intends to do so.

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You’ve guessed it: ChristenUnie also wants to convert vacant office buildings into student flats. In addition, the party wishes to stop the demolition of decent houses. Remarkably enough, the party also intends to house students alongside asylum seekers who have been granted refugee status in mixed complexes.

The Christian party believes that universities and other education institutions should have a post-pandemic plan to help students and adolescents make the switch from online learning to in-person classes.


D66 wishes to create more student housing. If it’s up to the liberals, there will be at least six thousand more student bedsits by 2026. Furthermore, the party wants to stop the council from requiring students to register as a student house if there are more than two students in one house.

The party’s election manifesto has a great deal to say about tertiary education. The party believes it is vital that the city ensure that the labour market and the education sector are aligned. For instance, the politicians hope to attract more innovative companies that will invest in creating work placements for students. In addition, they wish to make it easier for people to get a second degree after completing a first one, and to create more study spots.

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DENK does not say anything about student housing in its election manifesto.

The party doesn’t say much about higher education, either. However, it does say that it seeks to reduce discrimination against students seeking to get a work placement by providing companies and education institutions with more information. The party also wants students to have more opportunities to meet people working in the field and study spots to remain open night and day.

Another item in the manifesto isn’t necessarily education-related, but will be good news to students who are night owls: DENK wants all late-night shops to be open all the time, even at hours when quick delivery services will no longer come and deliver the things you ordered.

Forum voor Democratie

If you want more homes for students in Rotterdam, Forum voor Democratie may not be your best choice. The party wants only a small percentage (30 per cent) of the newly-to-be-built homes to be designated social housing (and therefore potential student houses). The party wants students who originally hail from Rotterdam to be prioritised over students from outside Rotterdam or outside the Netherlands in the allocation of homes.

This political party’s election manifesto does not say anything about tertiary education. However, the party does want to support clubs and societies (including student societies and study societies) that have been negatively affected by the pandemic.


GroenLinks has ambitious plans when it comes to student housing. The party wishes to create new student houses, although it does not stipulate when it intends to complete these houses. The party wants to make it easier for people to lease rooms, which should result in more rooms becoming available. Furthermore, GroenLinks wants the municipality to allow squatting. What is notable is that the party wishes to support international students. For instance, it wants to help the university find affordable housing for this group of students.

Education is a prominent subject in GroenLinks’ manifesto. One relevant aspect is that the party wishes to reduce discrimination in the allocation of work placements by encouraging companies that accept students on work placements to be more objective in their recruitment, and by allowing training sessions. In addition, the party wishes to create more study spots that remain open every day of the week, e.g. in the municipality’s own buildings.

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Jong Rotterdam

This party, which claims to promote young people’s interests in particular, hopes to create more study spots that are open every day of the week. It also wants a fixed number of fully facilitated opportunities for work placements and a study on discrimination in the labour market.

The party also states that it seeks to ensure that more houses will become available to students and young professionals, and that students will be assisted in finding a home. For instance, at age 18, everyone should receive a letter recommending that they register with the municipality’s house rental platform, Woonnet, so as to prevent them from getting on the waiting list for rental properties far too late.

Leefbaar Rotterdam

This Rotterdam-based party wants the municipal government to help housing associations build new student housing complexes. However, if Leefbaar has its way, the majority of these bedsits will not be allocated to international students, as is currently the case, according to the party. Leefbaar wishes to cap the number of international students studying in Rotterdam, at institutions such as Erasmus University. In this way, Dutch students will be able to be prioritised in the allocation of housing, and the university will have to figure out for itself where the international students are supposed to live.

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Image credit: Migle Alonderyte

Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA)

The social democrats wish to improve work placement opportunities and enter into arrangements that will make it easier to start learning on the job at a company.

Furthermore, PvdA wishes to see at least 25,000 new homes realised in the next four years, nearly half of which will be designated social housing. The party’s election manifesto does not stipulate which share of these homes is to be allocated to students. The party wants young professionals to be able to turn to a purchasing counter that will help them find an affordable home.

Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD)

This party, whose main focus is promoting animal rights, wishes to tackle mental health issues in students and make the subject less of a taboo.

The party believes that homes should be places where people live rather than a revenue model. Students should be able to find an affordable bedsit, and it should be easier for young professionals to find a home. Squatting should be legalised. PvdD wishes to promote new types of housing, such as eco-districts and tiny houses.

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Socialisten 010

This new party wants tutoring for secondary school pupils to be more affordable and also wants to realise more tutoring centres. Students who tutor secondary school pupils should be paid a decent wage (i.e. at least €14 per hour). Tutoring centres should be fun hangouts with table football tables and basketball courts. Rooms where people can practise playing music should be available on weekends, too.

The party wants Rotterdam to realise 2,500 student bedsits in the next four years. Education institutions such as Erasmus University should take greater responsibility for finding housing for their international students. The party feels that it is wrong for universities to make a lot of money from students without providing them with a place to live.

Socialistische Partij (SP)

The SP wants to realise more mixed neighbourhoods where students live alongside families, ‘disabled people’, newcomers and young professionals. More bedsits must be realised, and young people under the age of 23 should be given some form of housing benefit, like tenants aged 23 and older.


This new pan-European party has little to say about higher education in Rotterdam.

However, Volt does want to construct more homes, convert vacant office buildings and realise more new homes for low and medium-income tenants. This may mean that more student housing will be constructed, but the party does not explicitly mention students.

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The VVD wants to make it easier for people to get a second degree, although they should be willing to work on the side. The party’s election manifesto often emphasises the importance of work. It does not include a lot of information on the party’s plans for higher education.

The VVD wants the number of student houses to be increased. Furthermore, it wants student housing to be constructed in other neighbourhoods, thus preventing locals living in Kralingen from bearing the brunt of student life. Separate housing complexes for students, such as the one to be realised at Brainpark, may result in more rooms becoming available soon and in fewer homes designated for families being converted into student bedsits. As for the increase in the number of international students and its impact on the number of bedsits available in the city, the party has indicated that it wishes to discuss this with the university.

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