Growing capacity for new students
This Wednesday, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences welcomed the Wittenborg family along with members of the press and representatives of the Municipality of Apeldoorn to celebrate the opening of its new student housing complex. More than 100 visitors – builders, Apeldoorn neighbours, Wittenborg family members and representatives of the Municipality of Apeldoorn, including alderman Henk van den Berge of the SGP and Victor Ledeboer, strategic advisor to the municipality – joined in the festivities. To mark the opening, alderman Van den Berge delivered an address, praising the construction of the building and recognising the efforts of the builders and those who made everything possible. Hielke-Jan van der Leij, building project manager, also offered some words of appreciation. The moment Van den Berge and Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng cut the traditional cake, the doors were officially opened and visitors were invited to witness the result of more than a year of hard work.
The new building – located at De Ruyterstraat 5 in Apeldoorn – is a strategic addition to the school's capacity to house students. With the addition of De Ruyterstraat 5, containing 75 beds, Wittenborg is now proudly able to house more than 150 people. Located next door to Wittenborg's older student housing facilities, the building features solar panels and common areas for students. Each room is a self-contained living space, with its own kitchenette and bathroom, with access to washing machines, a spacious lounge area, balcony and bike storage.
WUAS student Dina will be one of the new residents of the bustling student complex. Dina is really looking forward to moving into her beautiful apartment: "Everything is new and you have everything to yourself, which gives me more privacy. It's great to live with other students from Wittenborg because you have much more in common with each other and it's much easier to connect with your housemates. It helps me feel at home."
Covering the event was news organisation AT5 Apeldoorn, who captured much of the event on video – see it here
What it means for Wittenborg and Apeldoorn
As the number of incoming international students increases, cities and universities across the Netherlands are struggling to provide accommodation. The housing market is so tight that universities saw no other option but to discourage international students from coming to the Netherlands if they have not found a place to live. Last month, the Dutch government was advised by the Advisory Council on Migration to make higher education in the Netherlands less attractive to get a grip on the influx of international students. Since Wittenborg is a private institution, it will not be affected by these regulations, but it understands the alarming situation of the current housing market, especially for non-EU/EEA students.
“What started off as a service when we began providing housing to our students has become a necessity,” explains Feng. “International students come to the Netherlands, and facilitating good housing is a must-have. It’s a way to help them feel at home and be a part of the Wittenborg family.”
With this student accommodation, Wittenborg is giving something to Apeldoorn in return. From the moment the city welcomed Wittenborg in 2010, Wittenborg has experienced growth to the point where it has become the most international business school in the Netherlands with over 1,200 students and more than 100 nationalities. The complex was built without the use of public funds, and the accommodation makes it more attractive for students to settle in Apeldoorn and, when they graduate, companies will have better access to skilled workers who can contribute to the social and economic growth of Apeldoorn's entrepreneurial culture. The new building also helps Apeldoorn maintain its green character by providing a student complex with sustainable solar energy and an A++ energy label.
There are still vacancies at this new and luxurious accommodation for incoming Wittenborg students. To enquire about booking a room, contact Wittenborg's Housing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Olivia Nelson & Niels Otterman