Due to the country’s housing problem, the Dutch House of Representatives has reportedly asked Dutch colleges to halt accepting more international students.
Members of Parliament have stated that the proposal is made to lessen the number of international students coming to the Netherlands because there is still a shortage of student housing.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science, promised to present a strategy to address the problem in February, but members of the Parliament stressed that this should be done sooner rather than later because the problem needed to be resolved now.
Universities in the Netherlands recently announced that they are still actively accepting international students despite the lack of housing in the nation because Dutch institutions are cost-effective for those students, also noting that the Netherlands provides many scholarships to students from various countries.
However, the University of Amsterdam has advised international students not to come to the city if they haven’t found a place to stay beforehand due to the major housing issues that international students have been experiencing.
In the academic year 2022–2022, 115,000 foreign students were enrolled in Dutch universities, according to Statistics Netherlands. In the Netherlands, international students make up about 40% of the students beginning their first year of study.
According to data, the majority of foreign students in the Netherlands over the past few years were from Europe. In the academic year 2021–2022, 76 percent of foreign students in the Netherlands were from Europe, an increase of 63 percent from 2005–2006.
Earlier this year, the international education agency Nuffic published its annual report “Incoming degree mobility in Dutch higher education 2021-22,” stating that 72 percent of international students enrolling at Dutch universities originate from countries of the European Economic Area (EEA).
According to data, Germany is by far the largest supplier of foreign students in the Netherlands, followed by Italy, China, and Belgium.
The Student Housing Crisis in the Netherlands
The National Student Housing Action Plan, which aims to construct 60,000 affordable student residences between 2022 and 2030, was developed by the Dutch government in an effort to address the student housing crisis.
In collaboration with students, local governments, educational institutions, corporate investors, and housing organizations, the government launched the initiative.
In addition, it stated that initiatives are being taken to provide fresh management alternatives in order to better manage the number of foreign students studying in the Netherlands.
37,500 flexible homes will be rapidly built as part of the proposal, and they should be completed by 2024. Additionally, the government will spend €37 million on special group housing, with student rent being covered by the plan.
The severe housing crisis in the Netherlands has also had an impact on international students, leading universities to build temporary facilities to house them.
As a result, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) cautioned foreign students against traveling to Amsterdam without first making arrangements for lodging. The institution warned students against moving to the city unless they have a suitable place to live and said that its list of accommodation requests is incredibly long.
De Jonge, Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment stated that leaving one’s home country to pursue higher education abroad is a special experience for international students. As such, every student should have the opportunity to find housing as a requirement for attending school in a foreign city.
The University of Amsterdam recently announced plans to test quotas on foreign students in psychology and politics, two popular courses provided at the nation’s institutions, in order to give Dutch students more room because foreign students are out-competing them in these courses.