Nieuws - 26 maart 2009


Some weeks ago I read in Resource that an offer was made to Wageningen UR to house foreign students at the Wielerbaan, close to Wageningen. The board of directors, however, claimed to have an outstanding business arrangement for the housing of international students with Landal Green Parks in Hoenderloo, some 35 kilometers north of Wageningen. This started in 2007 as an emergency solution to a housing shortage caused by the premature demolition of one large block of student flats. Now the temporary housing in Hoenderloo seems to have become more permanent. Spokesman Simon Vink said WUR has a long term contract with Landal Green Parks, and is not interested in the Wielerbaan offer.
This way it seems WUR prefers to house its foreign students a bit like asylum seekers: keeping them away from society, and preventing them from becoming part of the university community they belong to. No visit to the Saturday market in Wageningen, no participation in social and cultural events in Wageningen, no visit to the International Club. Long weekends in Hoenderloo, sharing a bungalow with four fellow-students.
I personally think that this way of housing foreign students does not give them value for money as a student in the WUR community.
But how do the foreign students at Hoenderloo see their housing conditions and social life themselves? Maybe they are very satisfied, and my sympathy is misplaced.
Let them speak up in Resource – or might this be a subject for a student research project?