Baele and Bormans are appealing for more accommodation for students, an open attitude towards refugees and foreign talent, and a collective knowledge agenda for the municipality and the higher education institutions. In addition, they are asking the municipality for more financial support for the Rotterdam Arts & Science Lab, the collaboration between Codarts, Willem de Kooning and EUR, in order to offer students an artistic and academic education simultaneously.

More homes and better public transport to the campus

Bouwput xior studentenwoningen campus foto Boris Berg 2

Erasmus University wants 2,000 extra student-housing units

To prevent Rotterdam from losing international talent to surrounding municipalities, the…

Bormans and Baele also think that the municipality has a role to play in the development of Campus Woudestein, where increasing numbers of students are coming to receive education and to live. “But the campus cannot grow in isolation”, according to the board chairs. “Better public transport connections with the train stations, the city centre and with, for example, Rotterdam-Zuid will ensure sustainable accessibility and more collaboration.”

Both chairs also repeated the call to build more student homes in Rotterdam. Here, they advocate accommodation with a role in society. “Challenge Rotterdam to come up with ideas that place student accommodation in the midst of the community, with designs that also place societal roles in the buildings and are openly connected with the residents.”

A list of the ten suggestions

  1. Make Rotterdam more attractive for students and knowledge workers. Baele and Bormans advocate more accommodation for students and young professionals, and better public transport connections to Campus Woudestein.
  2. Rotterdam has to become more attractive as a place ‘to work on the future’. The chairs think that too much talent moves to Amsterdam or Eindhoven upon graduation. That is why the city should ‘invest in initiatives that give Rotterdam a unique, recognisable character as an innovative city’.
  3. Rotterdam should invest in connection and inclusion. According to these leaders in education, politics in Rotterdam is often too caught up in ‘identity politics’, while it should be concerned with ‘reinforcing that which holds us together, providing a normative foundation and stimulating people to be good citizens’. The EUR and the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences are prepared to take on a leading role in ‘Rotterdam’s debate about the role of citizenship (in education)’.
  4. A collective Knowledge agenda for Rotterdam. Both higher education institutions want to work with the municipality to develop a knowledge agenda, which will determine the themes on which they will collaborate.
  5. Rotterdam should look on international students, knowledge workers and refugees differently. Namely: as talent to be integrated into the city.
  6. International profiling. Baele and Bormans want a new plan of action to ‘reinforce Rotterdam’s national and international profile as an innovative urban knowledge centre’, with a view to acquiring subsidies from Brussels.
  7. Maintain Rotterdam’s education policies. Rotterdam’s citizens are increasingly better educated, according to the chairs. But this requires continued support. “Where it is relevant, EUR and the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences will be part of Rotterdam’s educational policy.”
  8. The municipality supports higher education’s ‘aspirations of achieving equal opportunities’. The educational institutions asked for the municipality’s help with projects to bring dropped out students back to higher education and to make HBO-level education accessible to MBO students.
  9. Support for the Rotterdam Arts & Science Lab. Baele and Bormans requested funding from the municipality for the collaboration that allows students to follow an artistic and academic education simultaneously: “The municipality is invited to financially support this development and is prepared to act as its ambassador.”
  10. Be proud of higher education. Rotterdam should be proud of its higher education institutions and make them ‘a part of the city’s grand story’.