Support for students with serious housing problems
The unexpectedly large housing shortage in Maastricht at the start of this academic year created a situation in which currently at least a few hundred, mainly international, students are forced to live a great distance from Maastricht and the university. This results in additional costs and sometimes unrealistic travelling times.
Online education in exceptional cases
For the students in this group who are experiencing severe difficulties as a result, Maastricht University would like to temporarily offer online education when possible. The agreement at the beginning of this academic year was that only students with COVID-related issues (such as travel/entry restrictions, illness or vulnerability) could make use of online education. Due to the housing shortage, it is now also possible for the exceptional cases: students who have serious problems getting to UM on time and frequently.
Only if there is no other solution for the time being
Just like the students who follow online education because of COVID-related issues, this new group must make arrangements to be able to study online. Specific details about the route to be followed will be communicated by each faculty via their own channels. Online education will remain an exception only if there is no other solution for the time being! Considering the many hours spent in small groups, being on campus is and remains of great importance to education at UM. We also want to take the workload of teachers and educational support staff into account, who still need to shift continuously between various forms of hybrid education. Not all education can also be followed online. Laboratory education and for example skills trainings can often only take place on location.
We ask students who find themselves in insurmountable financial need, for example due to a combination of housing, travel expenses and attending classes on location, to also report to their study advisor. For demonstrably distressing situations, we will then try to find a suitable solution.
Housing shortage since the summer
This year, the housing shortage in Maastricht is larger than in many other years and manifested itself at a late stage. The size of the student population and the multi-year development of student housing has been the subject of periodic consultation between the Maastricht municipality and the university for many years. They monitor the supply and demand for student housing throughout the year. Up to and throughout June, supply and demand were comparable to previous years. In the summer, the shortage suddenly increased, partly because there were fewer available student rooms than predicted. An important factor in this seems to be that recent graduates, who usually vacate their student housing in the summer, are currently unable to find a place to live on the regular housing market. Therefore, they are forced to stay in their student rooms longer than in the past.
UM supports the municipality in its efforts to provide good housing for its residents, including students. With the temporary possibilities for online education and help in financial need, UM also wants to offer an 'educational solution' for students who are experiencing major problems in the short term.