Foreign students attending Dutch universities and hbo colleges are being forced to sleep on campsites, in hotels and even in cars because of the shortage of accommodation for them, national student union LSVB says.
‘Universities have actively recruited the students who have nowhere to live. They need to take responsibility and find a solution,’ Tariq Swebaransingh, chairman of the LSVB, said in a website statement.
‘Like their Dutch peers, many of them have been looking for somewhere to live for months,’ he said.’One British student slept on the sofa at our offices… but has finally decided to go back home because he had not found anywhere to live in four months.’
The organisation has opened a hotline where students can report their problems. One French student told the hotline she had lived in a flat via Airbnb for a month and then moved to a hostel. Unable to afford it any longer, she too has returned to France.
An additional problem, the Volkskrant said, is that many student houses don’t want to open their doors to international students. They argue that international students are not in the country for long enough to build up close ties.
The situation is so acute in Groningen that the city council has reopened a refugee centre where students can sleep for €16 a night.
Some 112,000 foreign students were studying in the Netherlands in the previous academic year, many of them part-time through the Erasmus programme. Unless they are willing to take action on the housing crisis, universities should stop trying to bring in foreign students on ‘false pretexts’, Sewbaransingh said.
Are you a foreign student with problems finding a house? Share your experiences below.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.