You live on the other side of the world and you are coming to Maastricht to do a master's study, where are you going to live? A few years ago, such students usually ended up in the Guesthouse in Annadal – accommodation that is meant primarily for exchange students. A few would try and find accommodation on the commercial market and rent a room somewhere in the city.
Last year, the UM already had forty furnished and fitted rooms for this category of students, but now the number has gone up to 91. Sixty of those are on the Reinier Nafzgerstraat, in a new building owned by housing association Servatius. Rents are between the 360 and 500 euros per month, all-inclusive. “This is a pilot project for us,” says Chris Snellen, who is responsible for the Guesthouse and these rooms. “Renting furnished rooms is also a novelty for Servatius. It is a growing market. If we follow the ambitions of the university – they wish to attract a lot of master's students from abroad – that could become a few hundred. We are looking into how we will arrange this and what role the UM can and wants to play.”
Twelve of the total of sixty rooms on the Reinier Nafzgerstraat will only be delivered by mid-October because of delays in construction. As a result, those who decided at the last moment – students who registered for a room after 1 September – were lodged in hotel Randwyck (at rents about the same as for a room) for two weeks and are now staying in rooms elsewhere in the city. “Moving is being arranged by the UM for this small group of students (three in all),” says Denise Villerius, co-ordinator of master's admissions.
Initially German, Belgian and Dutch master's students were not eligible for these rooms, but have nevertheless been put on a waiting list. “These rooms are meant primarily for students from outside Europe. But since there are four vacant rooms left, we will send those who are on the waiting list an e-mail to let them know that they eligible after all.”