13 June 2019 Bram Koster
New residential tower is the start of a green and safe city campus
In the coming five years, the area around THUAS will undergo a metamorphosis. New residential towers will be built for student housing. The outdoor areas will be greener and there will be additional facilities. The first building, the Leemanstoren, was opened on Thursday, 23 May with no less than 481 student studios. “We want to create a safe and pleasant student climate with space for people to connect. This is just the start.”
“Students are our priority. We want an optimum living and learning climate for all students at THUAS; inside and outside the school walls,” explains Hanneke Kadijk, team leader of Team Campus. “We offer a warm welcome to new students and want to use sports and events to connect them to the university of applied sciences and their programme.
An important part of supporting students is helping them with their search for a room. Hanneke: “Just like all of the Netherlands, The Hague unfortunately also has a severe shortage of affordable student housing.”
And that is a tricky issue for international students in particular. “A lot of the things are difficult to arrange from a distance. We reserve a number of residential places for our international students, but renting an accommodation is still the students’ own responsibility. And we are open and direct about that. We are honest with students who come from far beyond the Netherlands and tell them that they will face difficulties if they haven’t found accommodation by August.
Distressing cases at the desk
The supply of affordable student housing in The Hague will be expanded in time, whereby the aim is to mix Dutch and international students. The team leader thinks that is important because it will increase integration. “Students will come into contact with each other more.”
In the meantime, Campus has joined forces with the Municipality of The Hague, other Hague institutions of higher education and landlords to find temporary solutions, such as accommodation in hostels or in empty nursing homes. “You can get distressing cases at the desk; international students who are completely lost as to what to do. Each distressing case is one too many. We want to prevent that.”
Into the air
The Municipality of The Hague has big plans for developing the areas around the three train stations. The area around THUAS will be called College Campus Hollands Spoor. “They are going into the air. In the coming five years, various residential towers will rise from the ground, which will also accommodate student housing.”
Green city campus
In addition to the new buildings, the outside area will be transformed into a sustainable, green city campus. “The municipality has been working with us, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, and neighbourhood residents and developers to consider what the ideal outdoor space should look like. A main idea behind this is that it should be an outdoor area that connects people.”
“There will be a lot of green, less concrete and it will be safer by making it a livelier area. We can then organise more activities and facilitate more sports. The concrete ideas are green facades and roofs, gardens, platforms on the water and benches where people can sit in the sun. It should become the place to be.”
Game of table tennis
“Our ultimate goal is that students no longer sit alone in their room. We want the students to connect, with each other, the university of applied sciences and with the campus.”
The Hague University of Applied Sciences also has other initiatives. We recently had a pilot with extended opening hours for the library. After the summer, the library and the Atrium will be open every weekend and every Friday evening. “It is a wonderful place to study, meet each other or play a game of table tennis.”
The 70 metre tall Leemanstoren on Leemansplein houses 481 affordable student studios on 22 floors. The studios, which are fully furnished and have their own kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities, are primarily intended for prospective students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. The majority of the studios have already been rented. This summer, an additional 90 international students of THUAS will be calling the Leemanstoren home.