UCG students no longer required to live on campus
The faculty decided to change their policy in consultation with the Board of Directors. Students at the college feel the rent is too high and that housing corporation SSH’s house rules are too strict. ‘It doesn’t really help them feel at home’, says Rob van Ouwerkerk from the University College.
The concept behind the college is for its students to form a community. They study together, live together, and work together. ‘At the same time, housing the international students is difficult, as evidenced by the international students’ evaluation of student life in Groningen. The same goes for our UCG students. That is why they indicated that they would prefer to seek out alternatives together.’
Additionally, a campus does not appear to be a prerequisite to forming a community, says Ouwerkerk. ‘Last year, we noticed that the UCG students develop a community relatively quickly, and that a close-knit group evolves within the year. Living together certainly helps in that respect. But we’re also seeing the phenomenon at the college itself.’
Housing the UCG students has been difficult for years. The tenth faculty was supposed to get its own building: a separate campus where students would also eat and sleep. But the RUG was unsuccessful in finding a location in the city centre that could house students.
Due to the plans to set up the University College in the Ebbinge quarter, the students would have to temporarily live in the container houses at the CiBoGa terrain. But those were not finished on time.
The students were then housed in the former KPN building (renamed Frascati), located a stone’s throw away from the college at the Hoendiepskade. But not all inhabitants of the international student house are satisfied with their accommodations.
That is why the faculty board decided that only first-year students are required to live in the Frascati student house. After that, they get to choose whether they want to continue living in the former KPN building or find a room of their own.
The University College will eventually move to the Bloemsingel, near the Ebbinge quarter. They will also look for student housing in the vicinity of this location. But whether the move will actually happen remains to be seen, because the university board has put the moving plans on ice. They feel that the UCG should first prove that it can attract a sufficient number of students before the RUG spends millions on the new accommodations.