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University of Twente’s future plans for student accommodation on and near campus

At UT, we see our campus as a valuable asset for the academic and personal development of our students and staff. To attract students and facilitate their success, it’s important to offer appropriate facilities both for education and student housing. Increasing numbers of national and international students are choosing the University of Twente for their studies. Right now 13,500 graduates and undergraduates are enrolled in our programmes, and in the coming years, we don’t expect these numbers to decrease automatically.

Students who arrive from far away to study at UT are currently confronted with a housing shortage. Although not our primary purpose as a university, we nonetheless feel that a good study and living environment is extremely important for students so that they can actualise their maximum potential while studying with us. That’s why we at UT are in discussions with various local parties to expand student accommodation on and near the campus in the future.

Areas on campus that have been zoned for housing have been included in the Visual Quality Plan 2019 (only Dutch) as possible locations where student residences could be realised in the future. We would prefer to develop these areas collaboratively with the housing corporation De Veste, our regular partner on campus. Outside the campus De Veste works with housing corporation Domijn. The three locations zoned for housing are the Boulevard, Verre Veld and Witbreuksweg. When these locations get the final go-ahead for housing development, the visual quality plan will dictate the preconditions for preserving the aesthetic quality, green character and key sight-lines of the campus.

In the short term, 230 flexible living units will be set up by a contractor on Witbreuksweg. These will be operated and rented out by De Veste.

For the future, we expect that our partner in student accommodation will be allowed to build housing units on our campus more easily. Housing corporation De Veste has filed an official application for the necessary exemption to be allowed to build more housing on the UT campus within the framework of the Housing Act. The Boulevard may be the first location where we will make a start on the construction of around 90 student residences. UT and De Veste still have to go through the entire design and decision-making process (including finalising the number of units), which will include close involvement of the relevant stakeholders in meetings and presentations. Working together with them, we will protect the important frameworks of the design, such as campus greenspace and keeping the campus liveable, which we in the UT community consider so important. Plans will also be developed in the longer term to create housing on campus for our ITC students, who currently live in the ITC hotel in Enschede city centre.

In addition to expanding housing opportunities on campus, we are also looking at ways of expanding housing opportunities outside the campus. To this end, we are working with both the Enschede City Council and Kennispark to develop the Kennispark area. This area will evolve into a leading location for University of Twente start-ups and high-tech companies, with investment in development of lab infrastructure, to create an attractive living and working environment for enterprising individuals. Enschede City Council has also set out its housing strategy for this area in the recently published urban development plan (only Dutch).

In total, with the expansion on campus and at the Kennispark location, our hope and expectation is to increase the number of student housing units by 500 in 2030.

Further information about housing projects on campus can be found at: www.utwente.nl/ltsh

Contact: Bertyl Lankhaar, Spokesperson for the Executive Board, mobile no.: + 31 (0)620027435