Almost 40 percent of the Dutch first-year students in Wageningen did not yet have a room during the AID. This was 10 percent among international newcomers. These numbers were revealed by a poll among 300 upcoming students.
Student room in the Bornsesteeg, © Guy Ackermans
Resource asked upcoming students about their housing situation during the Information Market that took place on the last day of the Annual Introduction Days (AID). 193 of the 300 students who filled in the questionnaire were Dutch, the remaining 107 were internationals.
87 percent of the Dutch students intend to move to Wageningen. More than half of this group (51%) had already found a room, and 11 percent had temporary housing through subletting. The students without a room (38 percent) generally travel between the university and their parental home (see figure).
Of the international students who filled in the survey, 85 percent had been appointed a room, and 5 percent was sharing one. The last 10 percent did not have a room yet. This is remarkable, as international students are specifically given priority during the allocation of rooms.
Although the poll conducted by Resource is not a representative survey, the numbers confirm the image of an increasing shortage of rooms in Wageningen. This is something the Housing Desk Wageningen has also noticed. Their role is to mediate the letting of rooms by private landlords. ‘Landlords who offer a room on our website will have about eighty replies from students looking for a room within the first few hours’, notices Suzanna van der Meer of the Housing Desk. ‘Students look often and respond often.’ The mediator has helped 83 students find a room in the past months.
Student accommodation provider Idealis also believes that the shortage has increased. ‘This year, we have had less resignations of our rooms than in previous years’, says spokesperson Marisca Wind. ‘Our plans for temporary housing on Kortenoord have also been delayed due to external circumstances. Both factors have caused a lower number of rooms to be available for new students.’
The scarcity is also affecting international students, part of whom still does not have housing. Although the university does not provide a full guarantee that every international student will have a room, they do get prioritised, as travelling back and forth to Wageningen is not an option. The consequence is that all rooms which will be vacated anytime soon will go to international students and that Dutch students will barely be able to get a room through Idealis before mid-October, when the distance-related urgency will expire.
A remarkable aspect of this matter is the high percentage of Dutch students who want to move to Wageningen according to this poll: 87 percent. Housing provider Idealis generally assumes 70 percent of the first-year students will look for a room in Wageningen. They base this number on a semi-annual analysis of the addresses of Wageningen students and the estimates of housing demand made by ABF Research. The accommodation provider suspects the 87 percent that came out of the Resource poll is too high.
Still, Wind also agrees there are too few rooms in Wageningen. ‘We really need additional student housing, either through new buildings or renovated ones.’ The university also asks for an action plan. ‘Housing is a primary need to be able to study properly’, says Ingrid Hijman, head of the WUR Student Service Centre.