01 September 2022

Universities are failing us

The VU is one of the most successful and fastest growing universities in the Netherlands and Europe, yet literally, hundreds of students are facing homelessness in this city every summer.
The VU’s response? Don’t come.

Over the summer, countless news reports have highlighted the desperation of students everywhere. Even international first-year students who are normally guaranteed accommodation, are subject to a waiting list ranging upwards of several hundred people. Even I, at the time of writing this, am entirely unsure of what to expect for the future, as I continue to look everywhere for housing. If it weren’t for my friends with me, I’d have no idea what I’d be doing. Ironically, even the situation I find myself in is considered lucky by many, with reports of students having to live in tents for accommodation.

The absurdity and cruelty of the Amsterdam housing market should by now, be apparent to all. Students, on their own, without any safety net simply don’t get enough support from the university.

We will show what it means to care for students

It is for this reason that it is no understatement that the University Student Council must help. And why we will help. We will show what it means to care for students and work endlessly to ensure that from now on, VU has contingency plans and backup options to make sure VU is prepared from now on.

But for now, this: I know how easy it is to lose hope in face of it all. The endless rejection, the lack of viewing, the uncertainty—I’ve been there and am there. But when you lose hope, these things only get harder. Explore every option endlessly, you never know what may come up. In the meantime, look at our Instagram, @vu.usr, where we will publish as much information as possible for students to find housing as easily as possible.

If there is any silver lining in this, the housing market has forced everyone to rethink their role in this crisis and in the struggle you all go through as students. The tone is finally changing, which means change is on the horizon.

Vincent Mesrine
Communications Coordinator

vincent mesrine



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