Led by Twente's economic development board Twente Board, various organisations in and around Enschede are trying to find solutions to the current student housing problem. They will be looking for options for both the short and long term. One of these solutions may well be the development of temporary housing units on the campus of the University of Twente.
Earlier this month, the severity of the current shortage of student accommodation came to light. As students are looking for a room for the start of the new academic year, they may experience difficulties in finding one. Especially for international students, there are hardly any other solutions if they do not have a room from the start of the academic year. Various factors play a role in the current shortage of student rooms, with an unexpected increase in the number of new students requiring extra capacity. It is a problem that is not solely regional but exists all over the Netherlands.
On Wednesday, 25 August, Twente Board, Saxion, the City of Enschede, housing providers, and the University of Twente have been in talks to develop several strategies to tackle the current problem. Each organisation will explore opportunities within their responsibility and field of expertise.
Victor-Jan Leurs, managing director of the Twente Bard: "It is important and, at the same time, amazing to see how the Twente region has united to find solutions to the current housing problem. It shows the great commitment and the capacity of our regional organisations and citizens."
The City of Enschede will coordinate the housing issue. Alderman Jeroen Diepemaat: "I am excited about the vigorous spirit that has been shown in dealing with the current challenges. We want to attract talented youngsters to our city, which requires adequate housing facilities, too."
The University of Twente is happy to see the support from the region: "The news about the housing shortage has led to many reactions. We find it terrible that we cannot welcome students in a way that we think they should be welcomed, and we are glad how this collaboration got off the ground. For the wellbeing of our students, it is important to make a head start, and having a decent home is key to settling well", says Mirjam Bult, vice-president of the University of Twente's Executive Board.
It may take some weeks for the parties involved to provide solutions for those students who have not yet been able to find accommodation. Furthermore, there will be further explorations to ensure there will be adequate housing options in the future, too.
Many private house owners have been in contact with us to provide a helping hand. They may use social media channels or a brokerage website to offer their (temporary) housing solutions. Also, student organisation ESN Twente has set up a Housing Matchmaking Service.