The shortage of student accommodation has grown continuously in recent years. According to the National Student Accommodation Monitor (Landelijke Monitor Studentenhuisvesting), presented today, there is now a shortage of almost 27,000 student housing units. The shortage is expected to increase to a total of 44,800 units in the twenty largest university cities by the 2029/2030 academic year. The National Action Plan for Student Accommodation (Landelijk Actieplan Studentenhuisvesting) was signed today to address this problem. The plan presents agreements among the government, accommodation providers, universities and student organisations on actions to be taken over the next years. The action plan’s goal is to make an additional 60,000 affordable student housing units available over the 2022-2030 period.
The number of students at Dutch universities has doubled since the start of this century, rising from 164,000 students in 2000 to 340,000 students in 2021. Due to rising student numbers and a tight housing market, many students have a hard time finding a room. This is problematic, as having a room is an important precondition for accessible education and an agreeable study period. A large part of Dutch students move out to live on their own for the first time during or at the start of their studies, and international students need accommodation as soon as they arrive in the Netherlands.
While universities are not themselves responsible for providing student accommodation, they are actively involved in the matter. Together with the other parties, they envisage five goals:
- A better grip on student intake: universities will inform municipalities and accommodation providers about the expected student intake. They will also play an active role informing international students about the tightness of the Dutch housing market. In their plans, universities of applied sciences and universities will work with minister Dijkgraaf to explore regulatory avenues to put targeted caps on numbers of international students.
- Expanding the supply: an additional 60,000 student housing units will be made available over the 2022-2030 period. Additionally, steps will be taken to improve the distribution of student accommodation across regions.
- Affordable student accommodation: a study of desired types of student accommodation will be carried out, a guideline for affordable student accommodation will be made available and action will be taken towards more sustainable student accommodation.
- Anticipating peak periods: there will be intensive local consultations to ensure sufficient accommodation is offered during the busy summer months. In addition, shared housing solutions such as boarding and host families will be encouraged.
- (Temporary) accommodation of international students: wherever possible, universities will help satisfy the demand, for example by booking accommodation on behalf of first-year international students. Rents charged by student accommodation providers will become more transparent, giving international students better advance insight into the expenses involved. In addition, educational institutions and accommodation providers will work together to explore options for temporarily letting rooms of students who go abroad to incoming international students.
The National Action Plan for Student Accommodation [link to be provided] will be evaluated annually by way of the National Student Accommodation Monitor as well as a number of surveys. After four years, the Action Plan will be evaluated and updated.
The 2022-2030 National Action Plan for Student Accommodation was signed today by Universities of The Netherlands, the Dutch Knowledge City Network, Kences, Vastgoed Belang, The Class Foundation, the Dutch Student Union, Landelijk Overleg Studentenhuurders, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and Nuffic.