Mentors took care of the newcomers in groups of 25. The programme included a variety of activities, from a dance battle and an obstacle run to a TedX pitch workshop, followed by a dinner and a party in Poppodium Grenswerk.
The VID fits in with Venlo’s plans to make the city more attractive to students. It wants to grow to be “a lively student city with the right housing facilities,” states the long-term budget plans for Venlo Studentenstad (2016-2019). “Adequate facilities for students constitute a precondition for the attempts to bind youths to the region with good jobs.”
According to the studiekeuze123.nl website, there were almost two thousand students living in Venlo last academic year, while more than double that number studied there. Fontys Hogeschool caters for the majority of this number, but its programmes mainly attract youngsters from the Dutch and adjacent German regions, who return home after school every day. This is different at University College Venlo. The population there is much more diverse, with students from all over the world, says Maartje Lieshout, Marketing and Communication Consultant for UCV. From September, there will be a total of sixty students, spread across three years, but that is still a far cry from the annual influx of 150 that was envisaged at some stage.
According to students, Venlo nightlife is relatively limited, focusing primarily on establishments with tables and chairs and catering for the local Limburg public, states the long-term budget plans for Venlo Studentenstad. Students are being called upon to organise more for their own target audience. In addition, there is a need for lunch and coffee bars where people can meet each other and work together.
During the opening of the event last Thursday, the new CheckVenlo app was launched. It provides information on student life in Venlo: the study programmes, financing, student jobs, health, transport, sports, and housing, in both Dutch and English.