University Council | My Eindhoven
I know Eindhoven like the back of my hand. I was born and raised in the city, and I’ve lived there my entire life. Over the years, I’ve seen Eindhoven grow into a major international city that attracts, in part because of the presence of TU/e, more and more outsiders. And it shows: TU/e is growing extremely fast, you’re more likely to be addressed in English than in Dutch in the city center, and Brainport is expanding.
As a small child, I used to frolic through the streets of Eindhoven, which I knew intimately, I thought. Since I made my decision to study Industrial Design, and therefore to study at TU/e, there was one thing I was certain about: I’m going to move into a student room. And I was very lucky, because as I type these words, I have a view from my comfortable student room of the locals wandering through the shopping streets of Eindhoven. That has made me look at the city from a completely different perspective.
But not everyone gets that opportunity, because not everyone finds housing in Eindhoven: room shortage is high. And the municipality only seems to want to increase the problem by tightening up the rules for room rental and split homes. It is estimated that approximately one thousand students will end up on the street in the coming years because they are living in an illegal rental.
How does the municipality expect to solve this problem? The politicians in city hall believe that TU/e should simply take responsibility. If the university wants to grow, it should also provide the necessary facilities. The municipality’s thinking on this issue, however, is too simple, because fact of the matter is that TU/e is not competent to rent out rooms to students. The money it receives has to go to education and research. What TU/e can do, is offer space to project developers to build a new residential tower, which resulted in Luna and Aurora in the past. But that takes time, as the Executive Board indicates.
I do hope that the university will take a close look at the interior design of such a tower. Many students, internationals in particular, feel lonely and isolated. No wonder, if you spend all day in your studio by yourself. When students truly live together, as they do in most student houses, there will be much more social contact.
Eindhoven also offers lonely students many opportunities to connect, because there are so many associations at TU/e. Each year during the Intro, I’m surprised to see all those stands with the most creative actions and activities on the Green Strip Market. There is an association for every imaginable sport, a team for every new innovation, and there is a wide variety of cultural associations.
That’s typical for Eindhoven, and much to the credit of Eindhoven as an active student city. Nevertheless, many students only realize this during the Intro. The set up of the Open Days was altered, and apparently there was no room left in the program for student life in Eindhoven. I think that’s a shame, because being a student in Eindhoven isn’t just about attending lectures and working hard on exams, and we should inform prospective students about that well in advance.
In Eindhoven, students can develop themselves, and that opportunity should be offered to each student. I want to discover the world in the near future, but Eindhoven will always feel like coming home to me.