Campus NL: the 2016 tour

by Alexandra den Heijer

As an important part of our Campus NL project, our research team interviewed more than 35 persons about (the present and future of) 14 Dutch university campuses in April and May. This was an excellent opportunity to visit all NL campuses again: from Utrecht to Maastricht, from Leiden to Nijmegen. Some photos of Rotterdam (EUR), Amsterdam (VU), Groningen (RUG) and Twente (UT) can be found below.

Some preliminary results of both the data collection/analysis and interviews were presented on June 3, for an audience of executive board members, financial directors and campus managers. Together they discussed propositions about tomorrow’s university and campus – the results of that meeting will be added to the Campus NL report, which will be published after the Summer of 2016.

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Back home to Campus NL

by Alexandra den Heijer

After a turbulent year with many unexpected turns, I am happy to announce that I will focus on the NL campus again. This post will summarise some 2015 milestones in education, research and valorisation, at least so far.

Alexandra den Heijer in front of design course students

October 30, 2015 – moderating the final session for TU Delft design students at BK city’s orange Oostserre (their assignment: TU Delft campus strategy)

July – TH Nürnberg students present designs for AEG campus

More than 60 students present their urban plans and building designs for AEG campus, the former industrial site in the west part of Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German). As guest professor I guided them during the semester and was present at their two-day final assessments mid July. My temporary position at TH Nürnberg was a great experience, thanks to the students and professors, with a special thanks to my host, Architecture professor Florian Fischer.

August – Exploring new business models for resource-efficient campus facades

Since March 2015 we have been working on a research project – funded by Climate KIC as a pathfinder project – to explore the feasibility of integrated facades as a product-service system (with leasing as an option). Both the client/user and the facade industry are actively involved. This could be a solution for the resource-efficient transformation of the large number of buildings from the 1960s/1970s on European campuses. More info: Climate KIC website.

September – Smart campus tools: measuring real use of space

On holiday “the towels on empty lounge chairs by the pool” are a source of irritation. Booked but empty meeting rooms and lecture halls are equally annoying on campus: expensive, high-quality facilities are often under-utilised, because of territorial issues. No problem if there is plenty of space and money, but even then it is unsustainable. With 13 NL universities we will explore existing tools to measure space use and design new tools and apps for campus navigations and better use of expensive and high-quality facilities.

October – TU Delft students present 10 strategies for their own campus

In September and October about 90 BSc students of our Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment studied their own TU Delft campus and explored strategic choices for the portfolio of buildings in their urban setting. With the didactic model of a management game (playing roles in an urban development process) ten teams of students analysed, discussed and designed ten campus strategies, which were presented to professors and practitioners on the last Friday of October.

November – Campus NL research starts

In November we started a research project in close collaboration with (all) 14 Dutch universities, to look back on the past 20 years of campus ownership (since 1995) and to explore the university of the future and strategic campus (investment) choices that need to be made. More info about this research project will be added to this website during the research process.

More about the lectures and publications of 2015 so far can be found under TOUR, DOWNLOADS and/or PUBLICATIONS.

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New publications, positions & projects

by Alexandra den Heijer

We are proud that our 2014 publication “The European Campus” has been distributed to more than 20 different countries (> 400 copies) and has been reviewed by international media like Huffington Post, Times Higher Education Supplement, ScienceGuide (also in Dutch) – see 2014 BOOK more review titles. In the meantime related articles have been published in four different languages (see PUBLICATIONS for downloads and links to publisher’s websites).

recent publications in English, Chinese, German and Dutch - see PUBLICATIONS for links to websites and PDFs to download

recent publications in English, Chinese, German and Dutch – see PUBLICATIONS for links to websites and PDFs to download

This month I have also accepted a new position for 5 months: Guest Professor at Nuremberg Institute of Technology / TH Nürnberg in Bayern, Germany. This is a position for the Summer Term, Studio AEG Campus – transforming industrial heritage – Fakultät Architektur by invitation of Professor Florian Fischer, chair Entwerfen in Theorie und Praxis. For lectures and documentation in German and English, see DOWNLOADS.

At the same time our TU Delft campus team is also expanding with new researchers and together we are exploring some of the subthemes of our Smart Campuses research topic: smart tools on campus (with TU Delft colleagues of Geomatics) and resource-efficient transformation of 60s/70s university buildings (with TU Delft colleagues of Architectural Engineering + Technology). More details will follow!

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Launching our European campus book in Tallinn, Estonia (CESAER seminar)

by Alexandra den Heijer

Today George Tzovlas and I have launched our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” in Tallinn, Estonia (see cover below).

book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available from October 16, 2014

book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available from October 16, 2014

About the book and research

The full-colour book (200 pages) contains data of all 28 European Union member states and draws conclusions about the current state of the European campus, highlighting both the heritage and challenges on campus. The target group of our book is decision makers about the campus, from the European Commission and national governments (setting higher education and innovation goals, allocating resources) to policy makers at European universities. The hand-out of our CESAER presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.

To order the book (price: 29 euro excluding shipping costs), please send a mail to me (a.c.denheijer@tudelft.nl) and provide the following information: (1) name company / person, (2) full address – including (3) reference number customer if applicable and (4) VAT number for companies. We will send you the book and the invoice separately (invoice as PDF by mail).

About the CESAER seminar

We present our research at CESAER’s annual seminar, by invitation of Tallinn University of Technology / Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (TTÜ) and CESAER: the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research. Every participant (policy makers or board members of European universities of technology) received a book with compliments of CESAER and our university TU Delft. In total 120 copies will be distributed to CESAER members.

impressions of CESAER's annual seminar - CESAER's president Karel Luyben in the upper-left corner, authors Den Heijer + Tzovlas in the bottom-right corner - photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

impressions of CESAER’s annual seminar – from CESAER’s president Karel Luyben in the upper-left corner to authors Den Heijer + Tzovlas in the bottom-right corner – photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

Early responses to the book

Many participants welcomed the book with enthusiasm (and wanted a second copy): they are currently rethinking their campus or reinvesting in their facilities and they mentioned that the book is “just in time to support their decisions”. Some offered us to use their campuses as case studies for the next research step or to help with the data collection within their countries (like Lithuania, Belgium and Hungary). Others were proud to recognize their heritage (on the many photos in the book) or their management challenges (coping with underutilization of space, territorial culture, high costs of the campus and energy-inefficiency of buildings). One remarkable fact was that George and I showed a photo of an obsolete lecture hall – without revealing the name of the university – and that more than four (!) universities claimed that it was taken on their campus. The hand-out of our CESAER presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.

Apart from the management challenges European universities recognized, many are also proud that the book highlights the heritage of European universities and is an invitation to study in Europe, and to enjoy both top-class education and quality of life in European “univer-cities”.

the book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available for all participants of the CESAER seminar (board members and policy makers of Europe's universities of technology)

the book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available for all participants of the CESAER seminar (board members and policy makers of Europe’s universities of technology) – photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

Impressed by the TTÜ campus

It is always a privilege to give presentations about university campus at university campuses. In this case we got an opportunity to experience the campus of Tallinn University of Technology / Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (TTÜ). I was impressed by the quality of the facilities, the way this university supports social interaction and how it highlights the academic achievements in the corridors. On top of that, the new innovation and business center “Mektory” (“Modern Estonian Knowledge Transfer Organization for you”) already seems to be successful in connecting starts-ups with industry, investors, the academic community and the many visitors. The building provides many different working environments, including a range of meeting rooms with country themes – each sponsored by the country’s embassy – and aligning with the university’s multinational student population.

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the best alumni of TTÜ in the corridors of the main university building

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group of students working at Mektory, TTÜ’s innovation and business centre

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country-themed meeting rooms at Mektory, sponsored by the country’s embassy

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keeping track of who visited TTÜ’s Mektory – accommodating start-ups – on a world map

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Back in academic business

by Alexandra den Heijer

As always I am happy that the start of the academic year (Monday September 1st for Dutch universities) brings back life to the campus. On the Delft campus two new developments align with our “preferred strategy” for European campuses: more pop-up retail & leisure in public space and bringing new life to an old inner-city building (Legermuseum – see TU Delft website).

At this moment I am enjoying another European univer-city: Heidelberg. Not my first visit to Germany’s oldest university, but certainly my most academic. Our symposium will add another book to the series Knowledge & Space (website).

My lecture in Heidelberg, Germany about "the (future of the) campus & the city in Europe" - see DOWNLOADS for PDF

My lecture* in Heidelberg, Germany about “the (future of the) campus & the city in Europe” – see DOWNLOADS for PDF – *at this stage no group photos were available for blog publishing – when they are, I will add them to this post

The subject “Geographies of the university” also aligns with Flavia’s PhD research – see blog link and her assessment of 39 campuses, which will most likely be published in 2015 – the flyer: Summary Exploratory Research.

book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available from October 16, 2014

book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available from October 16, 2014

Speaking of books: George Tzovlas – who was promoted from researcher to PhD researcher last month – and I will launch our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” (cover) next month – October 16 in Tallinn, Estonia – at the annual conference of CESAER, the network of European Universities of Technology. All participants will receive a copy. After that conference the book will be available. First responses to the draft copy: “A tour guide for studying in Europe”, referring to the many photos that highlight the beauty of Europe. However, the book also covers the “headaches” of the European campus, of which fewer photos are published online.

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Proud of our European Campus book (almost ready)

by Alexandra den Heijer

Yesterday researcher George Tzovlas and I presented the draft version of our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” for delegates from the European Commission, the European University Association (EUA) and our own university TU Delft, including our president Dirk Jan van den Berg.

More info about the research project will follow in my next posts – please mail a.c.denheijer@tudelft.nl if you want to be informed, when the book can be ordered.

George Tzovlas and me, just before presenting the preliminary results of our research project "The European campus"

George Tzovlas and me, just before presenting the preliminary results of our research project “The European campus”

Proud of the results so far, and thanking EUA for their support from the start by giving the first copy to EUA's Enora Pruvot (in the background: chairman Hans Beunderman, former dean and vice rector TU Delft)

Proud of the results so far, and thanking EUA for their support from the start by giving the first copy to EUA’s Enora Pruvot (in the background: chairman Hans Beunderman, former dean and vice rector TU Delft)

More about our campus research team @ TU Delft – see CAMPUS RESEARCH TEAM.

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Academic family portrait of the campus research team

by Alexandra den Heijer

Last month we took a photo of the campus research team, which – to our pleasant surprise – resembles a family portrait.

Introducing TU Delft's campus research team - Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel, Alexandra den Heijer,  George Tzovlas, Salome Bentinck and Naif Alghamdi

TU Delft’s campus research team – Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel, Alexandra den Heijer, George Tzovlas, Salome Bentinck and Naif Alghamdi

Campus team members and their projects:
1. Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel: Technology Campuses in Cities
2. Salomé Bentinck: Knowledge workplace
3. Naif Alghamdi: Sustainable campuses in Saudi Arabia
4. George Tzovlas + Alexandra den Heijer: Managing European campuses

In comparison with the photo that I posted last year – see post Campus team 2013 – Naif Alghamdi joined the group. In his PhD research he will focus on campus management in his native country Saudi Arabia, with lessons from and for many other universities. The following section is a text from his PhD proposal (edited for this post).

“Currently, the government of Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in the higher education sector. Today, Saudi Arabia has twenty-eight universities, of which many are founded between 2003 and 2014. This boom has led to the construction of 16 new campuses in different parts of the kingdom, costing more than €16 billion in total. These campuses are located in cities that have had no history of hosting such institutions. The capacity of new campuses ranges from 10,000 to 90,000 students. According to the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education (2014) more than a million students were enrolled in 2012. The total capacity of the 16 new campuses will be around 776,000 students, increasing accessibility of higher education to a total of almost two million students once these new campuses are fully operational. The total area of campus land is more than 11 thousand hectares. This massive area gives more flexibility for possible future expansions. Such figures send a clear message that these mega-projects should be handled cautiously for the sake of a sustainable future.” (source: Naif Alghamdi, 2014)

comparison NL-Saudi Arabia (source: Naif Alghamdi, 2014)

comparison NL-Saudi Arabia (source: Naif Alghamdi, May 2014) – note: in red “+ 3 last week” (!)

More information about Naif Alghamdi and the other team members can be found on the page CAMPUS RESEARCH TEAM.

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