University of Amsterdam: Expansion of student accommodation in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

The number of student properties in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is to be greatly increased in Almere over the next few years. A new student campus will be built there and will include affordable housing for international students from such institutions as the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. The properties will be built by student housing company DUWO. Agreements have been made on this and enshrined in a covenant signed this week by administrators from Almere City Council, the universities UvA and VU and the universities of applied sciences Windesheim and Aeres.

The new properties in Almere are badly needed because the number of students at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences has been growing rapidly in recent years. This increase in the number of students means there is a growing need for affordable accommodation. In the Amsterdam region, there is a shortage of some 5,000 rooms for students at various educational institutions, a deficit that is only set to increase over the next few years if no measures are taken. In due course, the student campus in Almere will feature at least 375 new properties for (international) students from the UvA and 125 from the VU.

‘Cooperation is a must if we are to succeed’, says Marcel Nollen, Director of the VU. And so he is delighted with the City of Knowledge Coalition, within the compass of which Amsterdam’s educational establishments have teamed up to increase the volume of student housing available. The focus is on new-build properties, innovative rental concepts in existing buildings or new-build projects outside of Amsterdam. ‘The student complex that is about to be built in Almere neatly shows that our cooperation is paying off’, says UvA board member Jan Lintsen. He takes the view that reducing the deficit will continue to be a high priority for the educational establishments over the next few years. ‘We have a shared interest in making more affordable housing available to students throughout the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.’

In Almere, the cooperation has resulted in agreements on the construction of a student campus in the city centre with sports, cultural, entertainment and catering amenities. Almere has made performance agreements with housing company DUWO vis-à-vis the construction of affordable properties on the new campus. The plan will be fleshed out in more detail over the next few weeks. The first phase will see the construction of Windesheim’s teaching building and approximately 750 student properties. Completion is expected by the end of 2024. The second phase involves the construction of approximately 500 student properties. Maaike Veeningen, Alderwoman for Economic Affairs, states that the advent of the campus will be a huge boost. ‘Housing some 1,250 students will create an even livelier and more appealing city centre, with an even more diverse range of amenities for the city as a whole and for its visitors.’ The educational institutions and Almere will jointly ensure that this new accommodation is made available to students in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

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