Very few Dutch students have been able to rent a room from Idealis this academic year, concludes Ingrid Hijman, head of the Student Service Centre.
Almost no rooms have become available from Idealis in the past six months and the student accommodation provider has already reserved all the rooms due to become free in the next few months for international students starting next September.
International students are essentially guaranteed a room. The university will once again be reserving 1000 rooms for them with Idealis. This means Idealis can offer hardly any rooms for current and prospective students from the Netherlands for the time being. To ease the pressure a bit, Idealis is letting the reserved rooms for international students temporarily to Dutch students for the next few months.
The university and Idealis had foreseen the room shortage, which is why Idealis wanted to build temporary accommodation fast on Kortenoord. But Wageningen municipality got in the way of this by starting a lengthy objection procedure. Hijman thinks the worst of the shortage will be over once the new Idealis accommodation on the Diedenoort site and on Kortenoord is completed at the end of 2018 or start of 2019. ‘It’s a temporary problem.’
But still a major problem for the hundreds of students who want a room in Wageningen and now often have lengthy journeys commuting from home. That is why the university and Idealis are looking for emergency housing that is available in the short term. ‘Idealis is doing its best but we still don’t have any concrete options,’ says Hijman.
This means that Idealis will not achieve its target of having accommodation by 1 May for all students actively looking for a room, says Idealis spokesperson Hellen Albers. ‘We find it very frustrating that we have to say no to Dutch students but we don’t have a choice.’ There are more Dutch students looking for a room via Idealis this year than last year.
Idealis is already referring new first-years to other accommodation providers such as DUWO and private individuals. Albers: ‘The chance of new first-years finding a room via us at the start of the academic year is small.’