Three years ago, Vers Beton, the independent media platform on Rotterdam, went behind a paywall. That was a loss for the university. “A number of faculties asked whether we could purchase a licence for Vers Beton, because lecturers used the articles for their courses”, says Matthijs Holwerda, head of collections and collection management at the University Library.

Students doing research also regularly asked the editors of Vers Beton for access to articles, says editor-in-chief Eeva Liukku.

Connection with Rotterdam

Now everyone at the university can read the online magazine free of charge. “We think it’s important to maintain the connection with Rotterdam as much as we can”, says Holwerda. The magazine is now also available free of charge to Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

The library provides other media free of charge as well, such as the Financieele Dagblad and Financial Times newspapers. “But they have less of a focus on Rotterdam, so Vers Beton makes a great addition to them. It allows students who are coming to live in Rotterdam to get to know the city better.”

Academics also publish articles on the platform from time to time. Liukku hopes that Vers Beton will now attract even more attention from researchers. “We are a platform for intellectual reflection”, she says. “We want to drive conversations about the city, and academic insights are definitely part of that.”

Students and staff can log in via the website of Vers Beton. You are automatically logged in if you click ‘Log in with eduID’. You can also log in this way if you’re not on campus.