MAASTRICHT. There are enough jobs in the Euregion for the higher educated, but more than half of the alumni are unaware of that. On average, 80 per cent of them have left the region five years after graduation.
This is one of the conclusions from a survey by ROA (Research Centre for Education and the labour Market) into students’ motives for leaving and settling down. The city of Maastricht wants to change that. They are thinking of organising an event after graduation. Working title: the Outcome.
In the ROA report, students indicate that a job is an important reason for them to move. They feel that they are unable to find a job in Maastricht and the surrounding areas. Or they fear that in the case of work just across the border, there will be linguistic and cultural barriers.
City council members also wonder about the jobs on offer, it appeared on Tuesday when the report was discussed during an information round by the council in the Tapijn barracks. Can we fulfil those promises, Kitty Nuyts from the Liberale Partij Maastricht wondered? Certainly, said alderman Bert Jongen (D66) from Studentenstad'. “Large businesses in the region indicate time and again how great their need is for higher educated personnel.”
Another reason for students to stay is a social network – friends, family or a partner in the area. The quality of life and the openness of the population also play a role. These are matters that the city council has been working on for some time, among others through projects within the framework of 'Studentenstad'.
For example, there is the Housing Helpdesk – affordable housing is also important for those who have recently graduated – where international students can go for advice and help on renting in Maastricht. The plan is to expand this Helpdesk and also focus on expats.
Other projects, such as Match, which brings residents and students together in voluntary work, or Citydeal, in which students and employees from the university go into neighbourhoods to set up a local research agenda together with residents, focus more on integration between students and other citizens.