Utrecht University: 200 additional residences for international students at start of new academic year

Utrecht University may offer 200 temporary, newly completed studio apartments from Holland2Stay to international Utrecht University students with priority. Priority means that Utrecht University can offer the housing ‘exclusively’ for a few days to new international Utrecht University students, who will start their studies per September, before they come on the market. The 200 residences will be in addition to the 950 rooms and studio apartments that Utrecht University already reserves with various housing providers for international students.

The studio apartments are located in the new Boomerang housing complex at Het Kwadrant in Maarssen, which is easily accessible by public transport. The maximum rental price is 675 euros all-in.

Room shortage
The university is pleased with this housing provider’s offer. “Utrecht has a great room shortage and, especially for international students, the situation at the start of the academic year is dire,” says Student Life And Mobility Advisor Lenn Lamkin. “After all, this group has no networks or home address to fall back on.” The university is pulling out all the stops to support international students. “But we can’t solve it for everyone,” Lamkin says. “There are too few rooms. And although the percentage of international students is admittedly low in Utrecht compared to other universities, about 13 %, because we are a university with 37,000 students we are still talking about a large number of students.”

Especially for internationals, the housing situation at the start of the academic year is dire.

Drs. Lenn Lamkin
Advisor Student Life And Mobility
Not a housing provider
Utrecht University is not a housing provider, Lamkin emphasises. “We are not allowed to build and operate housing,” Lamkin says. “We do have a covenant with the municipality, housing providers and student organisations to increase the number of rooms in Utrecht in the coming years. The room shortage for students is high on the agenda in Utrecht and thousands of rooms are expected to be added in the coming years. With Student & Starter in the College of Mayor and Aldermen, attention will certainly not wane.”

Construction of student residences
Building plans for the Utrecht Science Park
Utrecht University is contributing to this by planning space for the construction of student housing at Utrecht Science Park. The environmental vision envisages up to 4,000 additional living spaces for students. Two years ago, 400 temporary student residences were built on a plot made available by the Utrecht University for this purpose. Recently, the plan for a fifth SSH complex at the USP was signed. It is called High Five, with two large towers and over 900 housing units. It should be ready in 2025.

Reserved supply
Unfortunately, these efforts will not suddenly solve the problems for students. Utrecht is popular, both because of the city and the high quality of education. The number of students has been increasing in recent years (up to 37,000 this academic year), and the group of international students within it is growing. That interest is good. Research shows that international students are often highly motivated, and the variety of perspectives in the International Classroom enriches the education. Moreover, an international classroom is good a preparation for professional careers after graduation. But unfortunately, there are few possibilities to guide or regulate growth. And that creates a big task for universities in organising education, but also for international students who have to find rooms.

“Reconsider coming to Utrecht”
Lamkin says that Utrecht University realises that despite all efforts, some of the international students may end up in undesirable and stressful situations if they have to start in Utrecht without having found an accommodation. It can lead to ‘couch surfing’ or very high costs for hotel rooms. It often resolves itself over time, as international students build up networks and get to know the region. “But it is not what we wish for our students. Therefore, in this summer, we will explicitly advise new international students to reconsider their enrolment at Utrecht University if they have not found accommodation. With pain in our hearts, because international talent is important for our research and education. But we really don’t want people to underestimate the situation and end up in difficult situations.”

Comments are closed.