‘Stopping recruiting international students is the solution to housing shortages’

– Nijmegen Housing Coalition has published a report on the problems surrounding housing for international students. In it, they call for change and one of these is that educational institutions such as HAN and Radboud University must stop advertising to international students if they can not guarantee housing after the first year of study.

‘No place: do not come’

Radboud University also states that they have never gone for bigger, but only for the better “We have no growth ambition”, the spokesperson emphasizes, “but we have no control over how many students sign up. In Europe there is free movement for people, so all We do not recommend international students who have not found a room at the beginning of the coming academic year, because we think it is important that students who want to study with us have housing.

The university is also trying to come up with solutions for the tight housing market, such as housing on campus. “One of those solutions could be studio housing in the Erasmus Tower,” a spokesman explained. “In the future, the building will be partially empty because the humanities are moving. However, it will take time and a party other than the university will also have to be realized.”

‘We continue to recruit foreign students’

“We are happy for a party that stands up for the interests of the tenants, and therefore for our (international) students,” says Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen. “In addition, it remains relevant to create a realistic picture of the Dutch housing market in our information to our international students. We actively provide housing for foreign students from countries outside the EU the first year. We have agreements on this with SSH &.”

“But for various reasons, we think it is important to keep recruiting foreign students. It is not about student numbers, but also about being able to offer our other students a broad perspective and international context. In addition, foreign students have an added value for the students. regional and national labor market (think of the tight labor market, for example in technology), “explains a spokesman for HAN. About four percent of the total number of students at HAN come from abroad: It is 1500 people.

Now sublease short stay SSH & allowed

The largest student housing provider in Nijmegen, SSH &, recognizes the problems and is also in discussion with the educational institutions about which type of product and contract form suits which type of international student. But it takes time, and “recruitment for the coming academic year has already happened,” a spokesman said. “Given the current market tension, we understand the call for some restraint in recruitment.”

SSH & has been thinking of a solution for international students studying for more than a year: previously they were bound by an annual contract for a short stay. Now they can sublet their room from the second semester if they find another, more permanent room before the contract expires.

“There must be a reporting point for discrimination”

Mika Kraft, faction supporter of PvdA Nijmegen, has for some time been concerned about the difficult situation in which international students find themselves in terms of housing. Due to the report of the housing coalition, he – together with PvdD Nijmegen – will on Wednesday ask questions to the city council in Nijmegen about this. In February this year, interim councilor Jan Wijnia promised to inform the council about the possibilities of a so-called ‘discrimination hotline’ for international students. This would provide insight into the extent of discrimination in the housing sector and other abuses to which they are exposed.

“The deadline for this commitment has now been exceeded, and with the prospect of the summer holidays, I fear that no further action can be taken for students seeking a new room next academic year,” he explains. “Such a hotline is especially useful in the summer, when most students are looking for a new room so a lot of data can be collected.”

‘Catering ban to be abolished’

The housing association also calls in the report for the abolition of the housing ban. In this way, more student rooms can be realized immediately in the private market, ‘it reads. The coalition aims to help solve the housing crisis and consists of people and sympathizers from: PvdA Nijmegen, ROOD, Groenlinks Nijmegen, JS Arnhem-Nijmegen, DWARS Gelderland, Bij1 Arnhem-Nijmegen, Communist Youth Movement, Voor14 Nijmegen. , International Socialists and the Student Association AKKU.

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