Feels like a holiday, but there is also a lot of uncertainty

Closed gates in front of the Muse Einstein Campus in Randwyck

Feels like a holiday, but there is also a lot of uncertainty

Duped students temporarily housed in holiday park

15-01-2024 · Reportage

“It feels as if I am on holiday,” Juraj Sembera laughs. He is a first-year student at the Maastricht Science Programme. Since one week, he is staying at holiday park Dormio, close to the Belgian border on the western side of Maastricht. Students who rented a studio on the Muse Einstein Campus in Randwyck – completion of which has been delayed for an unforeseeable time – can stay here temporarily. The Slovak student is housed on his own in a home with five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a sauna. “And yes, until now I have been in the sauna every day. As far as that is concerned, this is not a bad place to be.”

Still, he would have preferred to be in his new studio. “Practically next to my faculty and the sports centre, the two places I go to most of all. Now I have to cycle in the cold for half an hour.” He signed the contract for the accommodation back in October, on 6 January he should have been able to move in. “But at the end of December, I received an e-mail, saying that this wasn’t going to happen. On the day that I had to move from the Apart Hotel in Randwyck.” A longer stay there wasn’t possible: this was a temporary location too. In view of the possible room’s shortage due to previous delays of the Muse Einstein Campus, about 150 students were housed there last summer. “Fortunately, I was able to store my stuff with friends, while I myself moved to family in Slovakia.”

And now he is at a holiday park by himself. “We were told that we would be sharing the houses with several students. I have no idea if someone else will join me here. I don’t see many students walking around, it feels a little like a ghost town here.” And indeed, the park appears quite deserted this Wednesday evening, lights are only on in a couple of houses. Medical student Janneke Dill is in one of them, working on her laptop. She too is the only one in the holiday home that can accommodate twelve people. “I haven’t met anyone here in the park.”

Dill had already terminated her previous contract for an attic room in Heer, when the news of the delay reached her. “My room was already rented out to a new tenant by then.” She is doubtful whether she will spend the whole month in the holiday park. “It takes me almost an hour by bus to get to the faculty. From my parent’s home – they live near Eindhoven – it takes an hour and a half. I did that journey during the last academic year as well, so I might go back to doing that temporarily. It is not very sociable here in the park.”

She did initially look for new accommodation, but she has now decided to wait until the campus is completed. “During a tour of the campus, it looked beautiful, and the location is top-notch. I didn’t see anything online with the same price-quality ratio. Fortunately, I am in the luxury position of being able to wait. I am more concerned with the students who come from distant countries, who absolutely have to find accommodation.”

Sembera is not terribly worried either. “The situation is not perfect, but I won’t be out on the streets after 2 February (the day when the students have to leave the holiday park, ed.). Worst-case scenario: I will sleep on an airbed at a friend’s house. But there is plenty of temporary accommodation on offer online. More than when I was looking last summer. But I’m still hoping to end up in the studio. It is a pity that there is so much uncertainty about when it will be completed, if that will even happen at all.”

Many tenants waived their contracts

Not all tenants have waited on the completion of the Muse Einstein Campus. Manager Nido stated last Thursday that of the 506 students who signed a tenancy agreement, 317 have meanwhile terminated their contracts. “That is an option that we offered, in which no cancellation costs will be charged and all amounts paid up until now will be reimbursed,” said a spokesperson. “Although they can, should they wish to do so and there is enough space, simply sign a new contract when the complex opens.”

Little use is being made of the possibility to stay at a holiday park, which was meant for those students “who were in dire need”. Initially, Nido expected about 140 students, but ultimately fewer than half of those (68) made use of the option. Of those, forty students had actually checked in last Wednesday.

Photo: Joey Roberts

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: nido,muse einstein campus,student housing,dormio,delay,students,instagram

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