Nieuws - 26 augustus 2009

Not enough rooms for new students

With 15 percent more first years in Wageningen, the room shortage could go on till May 2010.

The sleeping tent remains almost empty during the AID
Rising student numbers in Wageningen are putting pressure on the tight accommodation market. The university has attracted not just more BSc students but also more MSc students. ‘Probably more HBO students will go on to a Master’s because of the crisis. And there are more Master’s students coming from abroad. The number of German students is set to double at least’, says Henk Vegter from the department of Education and Research. The figures are still provisional though, he warns. ‘But the provisional enrollments are pretty much in line with the numbers at the introduction.’
There were 1280 new students at the AID, about 15 percent more than in 2008. There were 810 Bachelor’s students and 470 Master’s students. It was no problem, though some of the Master’s students got a different programme. An enormous tent was set up on campus, with toilets and space for 300 people to sleep.
The panic about the increasing student numbers in the national press has not affected Wageningen. Vegter does not expect the growth of 25 to 40 percent predicted at some universities. The online registration system Studielink works differently to the old IB group system, in which people could be counted twice. Second years have to register anew through Studielink. And unlike last year, Belgian and German students can register through the new system.
Wageningen University is certainly prepared for the new wave of students, says policy director of Education and Research Ab Groen. The only problem is housing. Student housing corporation Idealis has 300 more Dutch first years seeking rooms than last year.
Idealis and the university were expecting an increased demand. Four hundred extra rooms were planned for September. There’s been a procedural delay so 275 rooms have been booked for international students at a holiday park in Hoenderloo. A shuttle bus will bring them in to the campus, a 40 minute ride.
Idealis and the student’s union WSO are also appealing to the private market. There’s a huge demand for private rooms, says André Luijten of WSO’s accommodation office. ‘We are regularly asked to take already rented rooms off the site because people are getting flooded with enquiries.’ Idealis expects to have put everyone up by May. / AB
Facts and figures
-       Idealis had 933 Dutch first year registrations this year; 250 have been accommodated so far.
-       In December Idealis will get 150 more rooms at the Binnenhaven.
-       Wageningen university is building 190 units at the Haarweg for international students. In September there will also be 26 furnished rooms for them at the old Physiology building on the Haarweg. And another 30 in December.