The campaign group Shelter Our Students (SOS), the Municipality of Groningen, the University of Groningen, and Hanze University of Applied Sciences are all in agreement that the current housing situation for international students is a societal problem. It is a problem that cannot be solved by merely building more emergency accommodation (although this must also be done). Municipalities and knowledge institutions must be given more instruments to better align student intake with teaching capacity and the housing market. The current financing structure for higher education is a problem and warrants further discussion.
We jointly call on national politicians to create the legal conditions required for the provision of these instruments. We will lobby hard for this. We further acknowledge that the current problems are also a consequence of a housing market that no longer works and is completely paralysed. It is the most vulnerable people in that market, including international students, who are bearing the brunt of this. We believe that nationwide demonstrations against this on Sunday are justified.
Although the occupation of the Academy Building was a severe step, we understand and are convinced that it was not the campaign group’s intention to block access to lectures.
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