Dutch universities are calling on students from abroad to remain at home if they are unable to find accommodation in cities suffering severe shortages of available rooms.
Amsterdam has insufficient accommodation for students, the city’s two universities said on Monday.
“Anyone who has not found a room by the beginning of August should not come to Amsterdam to study.
Similar advice was issued by universities in Eindhoven, Utrecht, and Maastricht, all of which strongly advised foreign students to stay at home if they were unable to find accommodation.
The housing shortage is not new.
However, the pandemic meant students were able to find rooms in holiday homes or hostels as travelers stayed away due to lockdowns or restrictions.
There was a shortfall of 26,500 rooms nationwide at the start of the last academic year.
The shortage is partly due to the large influx of foreign students, with around 115,000 coming to the Netherlands to study last year, a good 11,000 more than the previous year.
Around 25 per cent of Amsterdam’s 73,000 students come from abroad, while, in Maastricht, the proportion rises to 56 per cent.
In Groningen and Amsterdam, popular student cities, some have often had to overnight at campsites in recent years, with the housing shortage affecting Dutch and foreign students alike.
However, Dutch students have the option of staying at home in an emergency. (dpa/NAN)