european students’ union

Students’ Housing in Europe

May 29, 2019


Students’ Housing in Europe: The students’ perspective on the overall situation, main challenges and national best practices.

When looking at the current situation linked to affordable, sufficient and high-quality students’ housing in Europe we can see a number of clear patterns affecting the issue in almost all of the countries that answered our survey.

In general, students experience an ongoing rise in rent prices especially in bigger European cities where most higher education institutions are located. Insufficient provision of student housing and a universal lack of vacancies on the housing market aggravate the problem. The situation is particularly terrifying for internationals students that encounter vast difficulties when trying to access the housing market in a variety of countries. International students suffer from structural discrimination and rejection on the basis of racial discrimination both from landlords and fellow students who prefer to share their dormitory with students that share the same mother tongue.

The substantial lack of available students’ accommodation and the continuous rise of housing costs appears to be the biggest overall issue in the assessed countries. National Unions of Students (NUS) furthermore report student dormitories with extremely low living standards right up to facilities that possess threats to tenant’s wellbeing.

Student unions all over Europe are united in the fight for more affordable high-quality students housing. While the overarching aim is congruent, the main priorities and strategies towards improvement differ from country to country. Lobby and advocacy work of NUS`s is directed at the creation of new dorms as well as at the enhancement and expansion of existing student housing facilities.

Other national unions of students focus on fighting for better financial support services for students in order to enable them to rent a decent apartment close to their higher education institution. Alongside these efforts NUS`s focus on the provision of information with regard to the legal situation of tenants and the respective national housing market in general.

This Info-Sheet summarizes NUS answers to the housing section of the social dimension survey sent out by ESU in March 2019. A total of 18 national unions of students representing 16 countries took part in the survey.

Author – Sebastian Berger

Read and download the Info-sheet here.




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