News - September 11, 2015

No more room shortages in Wageningen

There will be no more room shortages in Wageningen for a while. Accommodation provider Idealis fears it may even have a slight surplus of student rooms over the next two years.

After years of rising student numbers and room shortages in Wageningen, the university announced at the end of last year that 150 rooms intended for international student were unoccupied.

Idealis and the university offered these rooms to Dutch students still on the waiting list. In the end only 50 Dutch students took up the offer – 100 rooms remained vacant. ‘The accommodation problem did not seem to be that acute,’ concludes Idealis director Sylvie Deenen. An update to the Wageningen accommodation market report of October 2014 by Idealis, Wageningen UR and Wageningen town council shows that there is now an accommodation surplus. In the report, they talk of ‘changed circumstances’ and forecast a surplus of about 500 rooms in Wageningen in the next two to three years.

There are reasons for this, says Deenen. Firstly there has been a big increase in the supply. Idealis completed the Bellostraat complex this spring, the university built student rooms in Computechnion and the Javastraat complex was delivered this week. All in all more than 400 additional rooms. That number will double next year when Campus Plaza is complete.

While the supply is growing, the increase in the demand for rooms is tailing off. The number of international students was stable last year while the number of school leavers coming to Wageningen to study rose by only 1.5 percent, compared with 15 percent in previous years. The number of international students has grown again this year while the increase in school leavers looks set to be 6 or 7 percent. But the double-digit increases of the last ten years seem to be over. In addition, a good 300 students will be leaving Wageningen as Van Hall Larenstein moves to Velp.

Even so, most first-years continue to look for a room in Wageningen, despite the abolition of student grants. There are no unoccupied rooms for international students at the moment and the waiting list last month with students actively looking for a room through Idealis was as long as last year, at about 900 students. Deenen says they will all get a room in the next six months. Idealis will not be building any new accommodation in the next few years now that there are no more acute problems. But according to the forecasts, there will be room shortages again from 2018.

There is now a film about the Javastraat on