Ghent to establish inventory of student rooms


A Ghent city councillor says that no ones has any idea how many properties intended for the private market are being let out to students

Accurate figures needed

The city of Ghent has announced it wants to create an inventory of all the rooms let out to students across the city. The city estimates that 60,000 rooms are currently rented to students studying at one of the many higher education institutions.

But city councillor Tine Huyse, responsible for accommodation, told Radio 2 that that figure was nothing but a rough estimate. She pointed out that city services, for instance, don’t know whether students are occupying houses or apartments that are supposed to be let out to the general population.

“We’re now trying to gather accurate figures,” she said. “But we should also work on a process that will allow us to monitor changes. So we can see what has changed after each year.”

Ghent currently has a population of 260,000, with 76,000 of these residents enrolled at a local university or university college. With the new academic year beginning at the end of September, a lot of students have begun looking for apartments and studios.

Students interviewed by Radio 2 said that student room prices have steadily increased in recent years. “In the three years that I’ve had a student room, I feel like everything has gotten more expensive," one student said. "I’m now moving into a new room, and the price of my old one has gone up by €50. I used to pay €425, but the new tenant will have to pay €475.”

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA

Ghent University

Ghent University (UGent) is one of Flanders’ most pluralistic and liberal institutions of higher education, and its motto has long been “dare to think”. UGent is renowned for its research in bio and life sciences.
Latin - UGent was originally founded as a Latin-speaking state university by the Dutch king William I.
Nobel - Corneel Heymans, the only Fleming to have won a Nobel Prize, studied at the university.
Autonomy - UGent is the largest employer in East Flanders.

million euros in annual revenue

1 882

first female student admitted

1 930

Dutch becomes university’s official language