Council on room shortage: 'How will we welcome new students?

| Stan Waning

The room shortage in Enschede is also on the minds of the University Council. Members of the council wonder how the UT, as 'The most welcoming university', will welcome new students during the next open days.

The council members understand the complexity of the problem. On behalf of the Executive Board, Tom Veldkamp emphasised once again that the UT did not foresee any problems in June. 'The influx is very difficult to predict. We were surprised by this.' President Vinod Subramaniam added that the housing market was not 'breathing' enough, referring to the low outflow of students.

The University Council agreed with these words, but Sjoerd van den Belt, on behalf of student party UReka, wondered how the UT is preparing for the open days in November. Can the UT still sell itself as 'The most welcoming university'? 'That suggests that every student is welcome here, but that was not the case this summer. We have to be transparent and realistic about this.'

Subramaniam responded by saying that every student is still welcome at the UT. 'We also want to project this message during the open days, but the perception must be realistic. We let new students know earlier that the housing market is tight. Not in August, but in May. We will also provide them with better tools, for example in the form of manuals on how to find accommodation as a student in the Netherlands.'

The new executive board president acknowledged UReka member Van den Belt's point that it is important to focus not only on EU students, but on all students. 'I completely agree. In the Netherlands too, there are students who take three hours to travel to Enschede because of the room shortage, that's not responsible. This concerns all students.'


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