Empty rooms cost UG over 800,000 euros more than planned
Empty rooms cost UG over 800 grand more than planned
The amount the UG has had to pay – a million euros – is still lower than last year, says spokesman Jorien Bakker. ‘It was over 1.1 million then, but our projection for this year was of course that we would pay approximately 250 grand to guarantee rooms.’
Limit housing shortage
To limit the housing shortage among internationals, the UG reserves rooms with SSH every year. The UG bases the number of reservations on the projected student numbers and provides financial guarantees if rooms are not rented out or if students leave early.
Until last year, students would sign a contract that started in mid-August and expired in early July of the following year. The UG paid for the room for the month and a half that it wasn’t rented out. This cost the university roughly 1.1 million euros annually.
At the beginning of this year, the UG aligned its contract period with that of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences: from the beginning of August to the end of July. This change would save the UG 840,000 euros in vacancy costs. But the the coronavirus messed everything up.
Because classes are mostly online due to the pandemic, internationals left the Netherlands earlier than in other years. ‘If you can continue your studies from home, it doesn’t matter whether you live in Rome or in Groningen’, says Bakker. In addition, fewer international first-year students have moved to Groningen, which means that approximately seventy-five rooms at SSH are now sitting empty.
The UG hopes it will be able to save money next year. ‘The contract period will remain the same as that of the Hanze’, says Bakker. If the prognosis for student numbers turns out to be lower, the UG will discuss this again with SSH to adjust the number of reservations accordingly.