WUR should cater for the influx of students by building more housing on campus, decided the municipal council this week.
© Roelof Kleis
Increasingly, Wageningen council see the growing number of students as a problem. Students are welcome but it is not easy to provide enough housing for them. And the council is afraid that construction of housing for the elderly, starters, people who have been granted asylum, and ‘knowledge workers’ could get squeezed out. So as well as more housing in the town, it is both necessary and feasible to build accommodation for students on campus, states the council in an amendment. The council also supported tasking the mayor and aldermen with knocking at the door of nearby Ede and Renkum councils to help address the shortage of student housing. The prediction is that about 1400 more rooms will be needed between now and 2022.
The mayor and aldermen have indicated possible locations for additional student accommodation in Wageningen: at Bornsesteeg and Asserpark, behind the Aula, the former post office, Rijn Ijssel vocational college on the Marijkeweg, and the Olympia hall. The council adopted this proposal, but that does not necessarily mean student accommodation will actually be built at those locations. There are other ideas for the post office, for instance (related to art, culture and pop music) and several parties would prefer to see the Olympia hall site used for senior citizen housing.
Until a couple of years ago there was something of a taboo on living and shopping on campus. But partly because of WUR’s growth, the local authority has changed its mind about this. The result was the building of Campus Plaza, with 400 student rooms. According to spokesperson Simon Vink, the campus is by no means full. ‘The campus goes up to AlgaePARC. There is space for students on the Kielekampsteeg, for instance. And the campus includes land on the other side of the Mansholtlaan as well.’
Before the council meeting, the Student Alliance Wageningen (SAW) and Connect Wageningen demonstrated outside the town hall. Their ‘wake-up call’ was intended to draw attention to the growing shortage of student accommodation