Rotterdam higher educational institutions sound the alarm: 'acute shortage of student housing'

Arnoud Verhey

Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Inholland University of Applied Sciences jointly raise the alarm about the growing and now urgent problem of student housing. We are asking the city to join forces with us in finding solutions so that students who are looking for accommodation are not left out in the cold. For now, but also for the future.

This academic year, around 30,000 new students started their studies at the university, colleges and MBO's in Rotterdam. Retaining new talent for the city and its surroundings is important for employers in all sectors in the city and the region. Living and studying in the same city enhances ties to the city.

Ellen van Schoten, Vice President of Erasmus University Rotterdam: "We ask for more urgency. As a university, we make every effort to ensure that as many students as possible can successfully complete their studies. It is important that students feel at home in the city, but especially that they have a safe place to live and study. The fact that students have the opportunity to live in Rotterdam or the surrounding area is important for now, for the future and for the city."

Signals

There is a great need for more affordable student housing in order to keep the large group of students loyal to our city, during and after their studies. Institutions are receiving more and more signals about students who explicitly choose to delay their studies in order to avoid having to return to their parental homes after completing their studies. An urgent and targeted approach is therefore needed for both inflow and outflow in student and youth housing.

That is why we appeal to the municipality to join us in tackling this issue with urgency. For example, we want to explore with the municipality the possibility of an approach in which educational institutions, the municipality and housing corporations enter into a cooperation aimed at a sustainable supply of student housing.

Sounding the alarmĀ 

Ellen van Schoten: "We are also sounding the alarm within our own organisation. We ask our staff and students to look into the possibility of offering (temporary) accommodation, where possible. We know that this will not provide a structural solution to this complex issue and we realise that our young employees and the students themselves are often already living on a small scale due to shortages on the housing market. That is why a targeted approach is necessary and we need the government to help us with this."

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