Shortage of student rooms in Leiden and The Hague
Just as in almost all other student cities, there is a shortage of student housing in Leiden and The Hague. This particularly affects international students, who have fewer fallback options than Dutch students.
The Executive Board has decided, in consultation with the municipalities of Leiden and The Hague, that extra efforts are needed to resolve the student housing problems, beside the management task forces that are already working actively on the issue.
Collaboration is important
The University is dependent on other parties for resolving the problem of housing for national and international students. The University itself is, for example, not permitted to invest in premises for student housing. Working groups have therefore been active in both cities since 2017, in which many options have been discussed with official and administrative assistance from both municipalities, student housing corporations such as DUWO and other parties. The university regrets the fact that some landlords do not welcome international students. In consultation with the Housing Anywhere organisation, it has therefore been agreed that information meetings for homeowners will be organised.
What is the University doing about the situation?
To make sure that students receive as much support as possible at the start of the current academic year, the following steps have been taken:
- Leiden University has focused more detailed attention on the communication with students about housing. In the communication we have stressed that there is a shortage of student rooms both in Leiden and The Hague, and students are advised to look for accommodation in a wider region around these two cities and to take travelling time into account. Students also need to start looking for accommodation at an earlier stage
- The University has appealed to staff via the website, asking whether they are able to offer accommodation to an international student.
- The University has added 40 living spaces to those that are mediated via the Housing Office. In addition, as an emergency option, places are also available for two months at a holiday park in Noordwijk.
- The University is focusing additional attention on a pilot scheme (together with DUWO) with extra rooms for international bachelor’s students.
- Agreements have been made with the Housing Anywhere organisation to make it more attractive for Leiden students who are spending time abroad to offer their rooms to incoming international students.
- For the coming academic year there is a real possibility of an increase in the range of accommodation currently being offered.
One of the problems experienced by students is that they are not given a Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer) if they have no fixed address. Through discussions with the municipality, University has found a solution to this problem. Students who are interested in this can make their interest known via firstname.lastname@example.org
Need to prepare well
Student are given a realistic view of the situationi in advance. International students are made aware of the shortage of accommodation before they start their studes. The Leiden University Housing Office gives them detailed information and advises they to start looking for housing as early as possible. They are also advised to looking outside the region and to use alternative channels to look for suitable accommodation.
For further information, procedures and questions, please visit our Housing website. You will find all the relevant information on housing for international students here.