Student - January 26, 2012

Should Dutch students have priority over international?

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Proposition: When student rooms are in short supply, Dutch students should have priority over international students

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Marlies: It is bad enough not having a room when you are a Dutch student, but for foreign student it is almost impossible to study here if you don't have accommodation. The problem is not just that foreign students don't have the option of travelling back and forth. It is also much harder for them to look for a room in advance as they tend to arrive here only a short time before their courses start. And they know few if any people here, which makes finding a room a lot more difficult. In short, leaving them to sort it out for themselves is just not an option. Incidentally, none of this diminishes the fact that more rooms are needed for Dutch students and that attention should certainly be paid to that issue.
Jillis responds: How does Wageningen benefit by having yet more foreign students? Wageningen and the Netherlands have more to gain from Dutch science graduates. As you yourself said, these days it is difficult for Dutch students to find accommodation here. So it is high time that Dutch students were given priority when it comes to allocating rooms.
Jillis: The university spends money and effort helping foreign students to get a room here. Among other things, the university reserves rooms with Idealis, and it rents space at hotels and campsites. I find it very strange that this happens at the expense of accommodation for Dutch students. The Dutch government is keen for Dutch young people to go and study yet a semi-public institution like the university is hiving off rooms in order to help yet more foreign students.Aren't we already the most international university in the Netherlands? Why spend our taxes on yet another 100 foreign students who thank us kindly for the knowledge transfer and then head off back abroad? Meanwhile Henkie and Ingrid junior are travelling four hours a day, making public transport even more crowded. This is just pumping tax money round the system in an inefficient and counterproductive way. Let's stop it!
Marlies responds: Most of the temporary accommodation for foreign students wouldn't exist without them, so the idea that foreign students are pinching rooms is nonsense. If there were simply more rooms, these temporary solutions - and thus the money for them - would not be necessary. And this requires better communication between Wageningen UR and Idealis about expected student numbers.

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