Statement on accommodation of international students
The university does not own any student accommodation, but of course feels a sense of responsibility for the accommodation of its students. We understand all worries and questions concerning the accommodation, in particular of international students. For that reason, we try to inform students all well as we can and help find temporary and other solutions. We are making every effort, together with accommodation partners, to support students in finding a place to stay.
It seems to become harder every year for students to find accommodation in September. This is not only a problem in Tilburg but in all of the Netherlands. This year, the situation is particularly difficult because many second-year students continued to live at home last year owing to COVID-19 and are looking for a room this year. The shortage of accommodation affects international students in particular. For this group, the problems are even greater as they usually have no alternative accommodation available elsewhere in the Netherlands.
Tilburg University clearly communicates to new students that they themselves are responsible for their accommodation and that they need to start hunting for a room in a timely fashion. We indicate the best ways in which students can do so. Phone contact has been made with all new international students in June/July. In e-mails, we have also repeatedly pointed out the anticipated accommodation shortage and the importance of finding accommodation as soon as possible and we have provided tips. Students have also been called upon not to travel to Tilburg unless they have found accommodation first.
Given the great shortage of student accommodation, the university is stepping up its help this year to international students who still came to Tilburg, having failed to find definitive or temporary accommodation so far, to find them a temporary place to stay. Via surveys, the university is keeping track of how many international students have not yet found permanent accommodation. Based on these figures, the university has offered temporary accommodation to these students at Beekse Bergen, various hotels in Tilburg, in the Roots hostel and De Nieuwe Erf in Diessen. This offer is for the first period after arrival in Tilburg. Thus, students in this temporary accommodation have a few weeks extra to find permanent accommodation or decide to de-enroll after all and go home. The university is also looking for other temporary shelter and Rector Magnificus Wim van der Donk has called on all residents of Tilburg to offer accommodation to students.
The university is holding talks with the City of Tilburg, housing associations, and market parties about building more student accommodation. Last year, a covenant was signed by the City of Tilburg, housing associations, institutions of higher education, and the Student Council, agreeing that 1,900 rooms for students would be built between 2020 and 2024. So far, three student-based housing complexes have been completed: Midi Tilburg, The Rumour, and The Garden.
Furthermore, the university strongly disapproves of the ‘Dutch-only’ label and urges private landlords to take their responsibility for an inclusive student city and not to advertise with ‘Dutch-only’, nor to accept only Dutch students as tenants.