News - August 16, 2012

Idealis: all first-years housed by 1 May

New complex intended to absorb growing numbers of students. Campsite: 'Already had our first bookings'.

Students at De Wielerbaan campsite, September 2011
Student accommodation provider Idealis is optimistic about its plans to tackle the accommodation shortage in 2012. The organization expects to have housed all first-years by 1 May, unlike last year when dozens of students were still on the waiting list at that time.
Already this year, 1499 first years have registered with Idealis, 1179 of them students at Wageningen University. Last year the total number of registrations was 1449, including 1100 WU students. Idealis will be accommodating the growing number of students with the help of the 345-room Rijnveste complex, due to be delivered next March. Then Idealis will have more than 4800 rooms.
The Pulse accommodation desk has also noticed considerable interest in the trickle of rooms on offer. Currently, around 20 students a day apply for the rooms they advertise. The accommodation desk will only know if the problem is bigger than last year after AID, when they analyse the figures.
De Wielerbaan campsite is also seeing plenty of interest. The owner says many students have been phoning for information about a spot for a tent or caravan and they have even had ten bookings. Every September, the campsite gets about 40 to 50 students. They then leave one by one for Wageningen, with the last ones usually going by the end of March.
This is why you haven't got a room
You're excited about your introduction week, your life as a student has just started but there is one major problem - you still haven't got a room. Why not?
Why aren't there any rooms for me? There are too many of you. Studying in Wageningen is popular and student numbers are rocketing. This has been going on for years. The forecast is for annual growth of ten percent but we have exceeded that this year. The increase in the number of rooms is simply lagging behind. 
How severe is the accommodation shortage? That depends on who you ask. According to Wageningen UR, there is a shortfall of hundreds of rooms this year, set to rise to several thousand in four years' time. On the other hand, student housing provider Idealis denies there is any shortage in the short term. According to Idealis, there will only be a real problem in 2015. Both organizations use the same student number forecasts but they draw completely different conclusions.
I haven't got a room so surely there is a shortage? It all depends on your assumptions and definitions. Wageningen UR thinks three quarters of all students (and all international students) should be able to live in Wageningen, you shouldn't spend more than a couple of months on the waiting list and living in Ede is only acceptable as a temporary solution. Idealis takes a very different attitude. It assumes 65 percent of the students will be living in Wageningen and thinks students could equally well live in Ede, where it also has accommodation on offer. What is more, it assumes a maximum of eight months on the waiting list. Everyone should have a room by 1 May.
So I am guaranteed a room by 1 May? Last year, Idealis failed to make that deadline. However, in March the new complex Rijnveste will be ready for use, giving Idealis 345 additional units. On the minus side, however, the preliminary registrations have shown a bigger increase (11 percent) than the 10 percent allowed for in the accommodation supply calculations. Of course, there are also the rooms offered privately in and around Wageningen. Camping can be fun too - for a while.