Although they didn’t quite make their target of 100,000 hours, EUR staff and especially the students spent more than 65,000 hours providing community services to the people of Rotterdam during the past year. And the Erasmus4Rotterdam project is set to continue for another 4 years as well.

The centenary programme Erasmus4Rotterdam was concluded on Monday 1 September, when the Mayor of Rotterdam, Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb, was presented with a symbolic ‘cheque’ inscribed with the 65,476 hours of community services during the Opening of the Academic Year in the aula. These community services were the university’s gift to the city of Rotterdam to mark the EUR’s hundredth anniversary in 2014.

Laying the foundations

Vincent Vergeer, project manager for Erasmus4Rotterdam during the past year, looks back in satisfaction. “Maybe we didn’t make our 100,000 hours’ target, but we’ve definitely laid the foundations for the years to come, even though we originally intended the project to run for one year. I’m sure we can get to 100,000 hours a year during the next few years.”

Rotterdamsch Studenten Corps played the biggest role

During the coming year, the Rotterdamsch Studenten Corps will have the honour of being known as the students’ union with the most hours of community service to its credit.

Study associations and students’ unions are mainly the ones that have spent a great many hours on community projects such as ‘Stichting Jarige Job’. They also held a conference on the theme of children’s rights for 500 students in senior secondary vocational education in which participants focused on seeking links between theory and practice.

International students very enthusiastic

A relatively large number of international students took part in Erasmus4Rotterdam. “We would have made those 100,000 hours if we’d been able to involve all the international students who put their names down for the project,” says Vergeer. “However, we weren’t always able to do this, because it’s important that people speak Dutch in most cases. We can make a lot of progress if we devise more activities for this international group.”

Reading to children

Activities involving children, such as reading aloud to children in underprivileged families, were especially popular. Vergeer adds that students were equally enthusiastic about projects to help elderly people: “These youngsters’ enthusiasm is really heartwarming,” he says.


About 1,400 university students and staff were responsible for achieving the final total of 65,476 hours. And about 150 of these students spent at least 100 hours on community services, which has earned them an official certificate of recognition from the university. WG