Nieuws - 22 maart 2011

Foreign students to stay in barracks in Ede

The Maurits Barracks in Ede will house 102 additional rooms for foreign students in the next academic year. The university has reached an agreement with the Municipality of Ede to rent these barracks.

Wageningen UR will be putting in kitchens, sanitary facilities and internet connections to make the barracks suitable for housing. The university wants to get a total of 400 temporary rooms ready for foreign students. Facilities Services is negotiating with various suppliers of temporary housing in office buildings. Even the old buildings of Wageningen UR are being considered for emergency housing.
Four hundred
De Gelderlander newspaper reported on 21 March that Wageningen UR will put up four hundred rooms in the barracks in Ede. 'I cannot confirm that number', says Simon Vink, spokesperson for Wageningen UR. The barracks in Ede are currently vacant, before the construction of new buildings. The Ede Municipality will temporarily rent out a total of 26 barracks.
Running short
About eighty foreign students are still housed in the Brink Residence for the time being. The transfer to permanent housing is taking place very slowly, because foreign students who have graduated are giving up their rooms to Idealis and the university in dribs and drabs. Jos van Kroonenburg, head of the Student Service Center, estimates that an average of ten rooms come free each week. He contradicts rumours that students would still be camping in the Brink Residence till November. He expects that the students now housed in emergency quarters will get a permanent place in the next few months. However, more new students will arrive in Wageningen in April and May - mainly PhD students - making the end of the housing problem still a long way off. 'We have been running short of rooms throughout the entire academic year', says Van Kroonenburg.
Before Christmas
Normally, there is a place to receive foreign students arriving in September, and everyone would have found a place to stay before Christmas. This year, not only is the peak extremely high (450 more students than available rooms, against a forecast of 150), the transfer to permanent housing was also slower than expected. A request has been sent to everyone who graduated in September 2010 to give up their rooms quickly, but to little avail. 'And we can't force them to leave', adds Van Kroonenburg. However, Idealis has tightened its conditions for new tenants. They are allowed to continue staying in their rooms for up to a year after graduation, while the period was two years previously. For the university's temporary housing units at the Haarweg, this period is three months.