Student - November 30, 2017

Would you like to live on campus?

Yvonne de Hilster

The ever-expanding university is the subject of some grumbling in Wageningen. The many students are accused of squeezing starters and pensioners out of the housing market, and being a nuisance in neighbourhoods. The municipal council recently proposed building more student accommodation on campus. What do students think of that? Is living on campus fun?

text Yvonne de Hilster  illustration Henk van Ruitenbeek


Lorette van Seeters
BSc student of Nutrition and Health from the Netherlands, lives in Campus Plaza
‘I like living on campus, nice and close to everything. The only thing is, you are in a uni bubble. That’s why I joined a student society, to get myself off campus. Luckily I have friends in Campus Plaza; most evenings we eat together in someone’s room. It would be nice if there was more student accommodation on the campus itself.’



Philipp Scherer
MSc student of Biotechnology from Germany, lives at Hoevestein
‘I practically live on campus, next door to the sports centre. In terms of distance and time, that has advantages but it doesn’t add anything to your quality of life. At least, I don’t feel as though I’m living in a town, where you run into other people and can walk into a café anytime. I grew up surrounded by people from lots of different backgrounds. However international your flat is, they are still all students. You don’t get away from the campus here and you are isolated from the rest of the town. In Germany I shared a flat in town with a couple of students, and we did things together. Now I live on a corridor with eight people, all pretty much keeping to themselves. I would prefer to live in town, with a maximum of five people, and then really live together.’



Paul Bruggemans
BSc student of International Land and Water Management from the Netherlands, lives in the former barracks in Ede
‘As students we can’t afford to be too fussy. A friend of mine is still in a caravan at the campsite. I am living in Idealis’s temporary accommodation at the Nieuwe Kazernelaan in Ede, and I share a kitchen with 70 people. Luckily it’s quite fun. Living on campus would be very convenient, with the supermarket and Wageningen town centre nearby. But if I could choose, I would prefer to live in the town centre. I come from Rotterdam, and although the centre of Wageningen might not be the liveliest place, the campus is really dead in the evenings.’



Engin Yucel
PhD candidate at Plant Breeding from Turkey, lives at the Haarweg
‘I am on campus a lot, but I prefer to live at the Haarweg. On campus there are not enough places to get something to eat or have a coffee. And if the weather is nice, there is nowhere to sit. I don’t get any sense of buzz on campus. In the winter it’s just like an office complex. Student housing won’t change that. Not that there is all that much to do in the centre of town. Back in Turkey I’ve always lived in a big city. Wageningen is really a small village.’



Marina Pérez Naveira
MSc student of Biotechnology from Spain, lives at the Haarweg
‘I would rather live at the Haarweg than on campus. The centre is much closer, and there is always something going on. Otherwise it would be very boring at weekends. It would only be handy in the mornings – I’m not an early riser – or when you find out you’ve got a puncture. I reckon the student housing is on the Haarweg because we don’t bother anyone there. In that sense it’s a bit strange that they’re building that new neighbourhood. I also wonder whether I would have got to know the town and the area as well if I had lived on campus. Living on campus would be fine for a few months, but if I lived there for two years I’d feel stifled. I like more diversity and more space.



Marieke Reus
BSc student of Soil, Water, Atmosphere from the Netherlands, lives in Campus Plaza
‘Living on campus is very easy, with everything nice and nearby. You are a bit further away from the town centre and student life, though. And because they are all self-contained rooms, you don’t have much contact with other residents. I’m not sure I would like it if there was more accommodation on campus. It is lovely now, nice and open and quiet. It shouldn’t get too built-up. But I do realize there’s a room shortage.’



Li Shizhi (Michael)
MSc student of Environmental Sciences from China, lives at Dijkgraaf
‘At Dijkgraaf you are actually living on campus too, which is very practical. And it is a lot cooler here than at the Bornsesteeg, where everyone has a self-contained room. We cook and eat together. It’s enough for me that I have a wash basin in my room. There is an acute shortage of rooms; people are even living in Ede. It is handy to live close to campus and I enjoy the peace and quiet here. If I want to party, I’m in town in no time. I’m not keen on the idea of parties in the pub at Dijkgraaf; that will be noisy, especially for people on the lowest floors. I’d rather go out.’



Louise van der Stok
MSc student of Forest and Nature Conservation from the Netherlands, lives at Droevendaal
‘I wouldn’t like it if I had to live on campus. It doesn’t have a nice enough atmosphere for that, it’s too modern and cold. I like somewhere cosy, with trees and birds. But I do think it would be better to build on campus than to take over yet another field. But if you are going to build, think more spaciously than Campus Plaza. It could be so much pleasanter, with trees growing in the building and wall gardens, for instance.’