The university hopes to create temporary accommodation for international students in the former Beringhem nursing home in Bennekom. The housing shortage for international students could be over.
Between one and two hundred students could be put up in the nursing home, depending on the fire safety regulations, says Wageningen UR spokesman Simon Vink. If the university reaches an agreement, it will renovate the home and rent the rooms to students itself.
If Beringhem becomes available for student housing, the university will have created about 600 extra housing units in a short time. It has already built 150 units on the Haarweg in Wageningen, renovated the former military barracks in Ede to create 100 units, and created 40 units above the Albert Heijn supermarket in Wageningen. A further hundred student rooms will also soon become available at the barracks in Ede.
Thanks to the extra rooms, the peak influx of international students has been better catered for than last year. For the peak period, the university rents holiday chalets in a holiday park in Hoenderloo, but there are now less than one hundred students there, says Vink. He expects that all the students at Hoenderloo will have a room in Wageningen or Ede by mid-November. The rental of the rooms has been terminated from that point.
There are fewer students housed in the Brink Residence in Wageningen, too, so they no longer have to share rooms. 'The temporary housing in the Brink Residence will probably not be necessary after this academic year', says Vink. If the plans for the ex-nursing home go ahead, the university will have the capacity to cater for the expected increase in the numbers of foreign students.
'This year there are far fewer complaints about the housing for international students', says Willemijn Sneller of the student party VeSte. 'The university is doing more than it did last year to solve the problems, but this is not just about temporary solutions.' VeSte argues for working on a systematic solution and hopes the university can fulfil its pledge to house all the international students in either Wageningen or Ede by Christmas.
As to the possible construction of 400 housing units on the Wageningen campus, Vink has no news on that front. The university is currently negotiating with the relevant parties about the plans.