Utrecht, 18-09-2017 – Hundreds of international students still have not found a place to live even though the academic year has started. These students are forced to move into hostels, campings or even sleep in their cars. A portion of these students terminates their study in the Netherlands because of this. “Universities have actively tried to enlist students they cannot house. They need to take responsibility and find a quick and sufficient solution as soon as possible” according to Tariq Sewbaransingh, chair of the Dutch students union (LSVb).
In the past month the LSVb has set up a housing hotline for international students in collaboration with Erasmus Student Network (ESN). During the last week and a half we have encountered some concerning stories from international students. These stories seem rare to some but occur frequently in the bigger cities. “A lot of international students, like the Dutch students, have to search for months in order to find accomodation.” according to Tariq Sewbaransingh. “A British student has been sleeping on our couch for 4 months. Eventually he decided to quit the study at the university and return home.”
The Dutch students union desires both a short and long term solution to this problem. Municipalities, universities and housing coproations should work together to put a stop to the housingcrisis. Universities should also have a more active role in housing. If the housingcrisis continues, many international students would quit studying in the Netherlands and this could demotivate international students to study in the Netherlands.
On last september 5th a collaboration of multiple studentorganisations in Utrecht organised a ludic action. With the opening of The Student Camping they show how bad the situation for international students is. The message was aimed to show the universities and government that International students are actively persuaded to choose for the Netherlands, whilst the Netherlands has no housing to offer.