Wageningen municipality probably misses out on thousands of euros because of phantom students: students who are living here but have not registered with the municipality.
Photo: Joris Schaap Text: Coretta Jongeling
The town gets a contribution from central government for every student who registers as a resident. According to Wageningen spokesperson Tjitske Zwerver, this is about 2500 euros per student per year. However, many students do not take the trouble to register because since the basic grant was scrapped, doing so no longer brings them any extra money. What is more, some students prefer to stay under the radar – those who are living together or sub-renting illegally, for example.
The municipality doesn’t know exactly how many phantom students there are in Wageningen. ‘About 730 houses are empty on paper, including a lot of addresses on the Haarweg and the Bornsesteeg,’ says Zwerver. Those addresses are now going to be monitored regularly. Students who are not registered will be fined up to 325 euros. Connect proposed earlier that students should be rewarded for registering. But the municipality first wants to see if the registration level can be raised through a campaign on social media.