Whether student accommodation provider Idealis can offer each of the new international students who have priority their own room as of 1 September still remains the question. That is why they are asking the internationals whether they would be willing to share a student room to bridge the period until 1 December; 312 new rooms are to be finished by that date.
© Aart-Jan van der Glind
The emergency measure is a result of a delay in the Nieuwe Kanaal project. The first part of that student complex at Kop van Kortenoord will not be finished on 1 September but on 1 December, which is expected to result in a small and temporary room shortage among the new international students.
Students who relinquish their room before 15 August and do not make use of their one month’s notice period will also receive a gift of one hundred euros; this is done in order to encourage students who were already planning to move to do so earlier. The measure has already resulted in a few dozen freed rooms.
‘We expect that a number of international students will be interested in a temporary room share, as that will help them cut some costs’, says Hellen Albers, spokesperson for Idealis. ‘In some cultures, it is very common to share a student room. Here, it is merely a temporary emergency measure. We expect to be able to offer all international students their own room by 1 December.’ Idealis expects 900 new international students to arrive in Wageningen.
Fewer first-years, more students
In total, one to two percent fewer first-year students are expected than last year. Despite this slight decrease, the total number of students in Wageningen is increasing. Idealis is trying to accommodate this growth through the construction of new buildings such as the Nieuwe Kanaal (a total of 312 rooms), Kirpestein (128 rooms, planned completion: summer 2021) and on the Costerweg (264 rooms, planned completion: 2021). They are also investigating whether it is possible to build around 350 units on the Marijkeweg.
However, the demand for rooms is growing at the same pace, so there is still a housing shortage. To accommodate this, Idealis will once again rent out temporary rooms in the former barracks in Ede as emergency facilities. In this complex, students share rooms in pairs, and there is one kitchen for 70 students, which is equipped to allow 18 people to cook simultaneously.
Wageningen Student Plaza
In the short term, Idealis will barely have any rooms available for Dutch first-year students, but Albers expects all Dutch students on the waiting list to have a room before 1 May. New students who do not want or cannot wait that long are better off taking an alternative approach to find a room. These are regularly advertised on the public Facebook group Wageningen Student Plaza (which offers rooms as well as second-hand furniture and bicycles) and on websites such as Marktplaats, Kamernet, Room, Socius Wonen and Housingdesk Wageningen.
According to Ingrid Hijman, head of the Student Service Centre, the pressure on the student housing market seems to have decreased over the last 12 months. She receives fewer complaints from students about the housing situation and believes that an increasing number of first-year students are not currently looking for a room but choose to commute between WUR and their parental home for the time being.