On 9 February, more than 60 students from The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Inholland worked together on solutions for the tight student housing market. During the day they were assisted by experts, who gave the students different perspectives on the problem. The day included mini-presentations and students received advice and guidance from experts, including Dr Katja Rusinovic (leading professor in Metropolitan Development, The Hague University of Applied Sciences), Dr Gerard van Bortel (Assistant Professor of Housing Management, TU Delft), Hanneke Kadijk-Slot (Student Services Manager, The Hague University of Applied Sciences), René van Eijk (Social Manager at DUWO). Since the housing market is complex, the students presented extremely diverse solutions to the jury.

The students assessed each other's work at the end of the afternoon. This resulted in a critical preselection, after which the students chose the three best project groups who presented their results to the jury consisting of John Kroes (Leiden University, The Hague Campus), Iris Visser (DUWO), Matthijs van Muijen (Municipality of The Hague) and Dr Darinka Czischke (Associate Professor of Housing and Social Sustainability, TU Delft).

The three selected solutions:

  • ‘Make Splitting Easier’ is committed to reducing the bureaucracy surrounding splitting up homes by declaring a state of crisis. According to them, regulations are now hindering finding quick solutions to the housing challenge.
  • ‘Zoomer for Boomer’ wants the municipality to play an active role in matchmaking between elderly people living in spacious accommodation and students. In exchange for a low-rent room, the students can do small chores in and around the house. And it can immediately be a solution to loneliness.
  • ‘Super Store to Super Housing’ won with their concept in which they mainly looked at converting vacant buildings in the city. They took both the housing wishes of national as well as international students into account for the house itself as well as the design of the public space.
Groepsfoto Team oplossingen studentenhuisvesting 2

Last year, students Doris Bukman (Leiden University) and Mees Wassenaar (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) conducted research into the student experience of the housing situation in The Hague on behalf of the Student Housing The Hague Taskforce. The results of this research served as the basis for the challenge day on 9 February, in which students worked on follow-up questions from the Taskforce as an extracurricular activity. There was a large representation of second-year students from the Public Administration/Government Management and International Public Management degree programmes with English as the language of instruction.

Iris Visser (DUWO): “It's nice to work with students on issues. In this way we use the students’ potential, and we arrive at solutions for issues that also concern them.”

With this challenge, students themselves contributed to solutions to the problems they face, and they learnt about creative forms of housing and the (policy) challenges of the city regarding student housing. One student said: “The connection with other students, especially international ones, is so much fun! I greatly appreciate the efforts of the organisation and lecturers and all the experts present today. I'd like to see these kinds of teaching days more often!”

If you have any questions, please contact Hila Mohamad, Knowledge broker at City Deal Kennis Maken Den Haag | Delft: H.Mohamad@hhs.nl

This challenge was made possible by The Hague Educational Agenda of the Municipality of The Hague and organised by The Hague University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Kennis Maken Den Haag and partners.