The Class Conference 2021

People - place - purpose

Date
17-18 November 2021
Venue
Hybrid - Amsterdam
About
Attendees
DAY 1: SITE TOURS
DAY 2: CONFERENCE
Registration
FAQ
Every year, movers and shakers in the student housing sector come to The Class Conference to connect and reconnect, to share and be inspired. This event isn't just the largest student housing conference in Europe – it's our time together as individual leaders, and as a collective at large.

Since our first conference a decade ago, our community has grown to encompass over 90 student housing players, city leaders, and members of the higher education community. As a result of this rapid growth, The Class has become an unmatched engine of opportunity; we've kickstarted new business models, promoted and supported cross- border collaborations, and built up a multi-disciplinary support network helping our members to tackle shared challenges with ease.

This year, as we come out of a global pandemic which shook the world to its foundations, many in our community are beginning to wonder how "the new normal" will manifest in their day-to-day operations. That's where we come in with great ideas and bold solutions. We identified four game changers for the industry, and we're dedicating our 2021 conference to exploring these key themes.
About

Key Themes

  • Harnessing Investment: Europe’s Recovery Plan is set to reshape its cities by investing billions of euros into urban revitalisation projects. We’ll look at the macro-scale – focusing on what cities are doing to train and retain young professionals, and touching on what this means for students seeking new ways to upskill, reskill, collaborate, and co-create as they enter the workforce.
  • Scaling Social Impact: Whenever sustainability comes up, there’s a lot of talk about balancing people, planet, and profit. Yet, true systems change requires all hands-on deck. We’ll dive into what we as a community will need to do to achieve social value.
  • Forging a Common Agenda: We need new models of public-private partnership to spread innovations and bring about lasting change. This theme revolves around stakeholder engagement, goal-setting, collective learning, accountability, policy-making, and regulation.
  • Envisioning the student experience of tomorrow: Networked, collective intelligence allows us to cut through the noise as we widen the solution space in student accommodation. We’ll explore which trends and signals in education, mobility, sustainability, digitisation, and urbanisation are worth keeping an eye on.
Previous Conferences
To give you an idea of what you can expect, you can view
our previous conferences on Youtube.

Why Attend The Class Conference?

Gain Insights

Together with our partners and provocative thinkers we set the
agenda for our industry.

Grow Your Network

If you want to tap into the European student housing sector, this is the
place to be.

Celebrate Achievements

With The Best in Class Awards, we recognise the organizations that are raising the bar for our industry.

Previous Conferences

See All
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The Class Conference in Numbers

Data from the The Class Conference in 2020
906
Attendees
12%
C-level attendees
270
Organizations
4.64/5
Avg. attendee rating

Representation

Great Britain 39%,
Netherlands 16%,
Germany 8%,
Spain 5%,
Italy 5%,
Other 27%

Attendee Testimonials

Brian Welsh

ceo

Nido student

"We really respect the work that The Class is doing in expanding the footprint of the student accommodation sector and challenging local governments and those of us within the sector to continue to evolve, adapt, improve, deliver great services for students and continue to be a force."

Rosemary Feenan

International director

JLL

“At The Class Conference we are talking about student housing, attracting students, retaining them and making their lives easier, more productive and more useful to the cities, the economy and to give them a better experience.”

Henri Vuong

Director of Research & Market Information

INREV

“The diversity of the people who come together at The Class Conference is really amazing. I don’t think that you can get as much diversity in any other type of conference.”

Paula Dalziel

Residential life manager

Manchester Metropolitan university

“What surprised me most, is how willing everybody is to share the information they have on how they deliver.”

Jeremy Bamberg

Co-Founder

Factory

“There are a lot of potential partners both from the operation side and from the development side.”

Cecilia Castelli

Consultant

The European House Ambrosetti

“I love the productivity, the creativity, this is really worth the trip to find new ideas and to create useful collaborations.”

Stewart More

Chief Executive

CRM Students

“We come for two reasons: to meet new people and to expand our network and to learn about the cities.”

Martin Paul

President

Maastricht University

“Very much enjoyed participating in the 2020 conference. We had a good mix of participants, including a student voice.”

Horst Lieder

Chairman & Founder

IC Campus

“The marketplace for everybody who is part of the student accommodation sector in the real estate industry.”

If you’re joining us in person, on Day 1, we've organised tours of student housing sites operated by some of our partners around Amsterdam. These tours highlight a diverse range of innovative student/shared living concepts that are disrupting the sector. Attendees can mix and match between locations to create their own tour track. We ask that you arrange your own transportation between locations.

🕐

2pm

💬

Co-working, classrooms, events
facilities, sports and café
restaurants below a revamped hotel
and student accommodation.

🔥  

REVAMP

🕐

12:30pm - 3:30pm

💬

A brand new year-long stay
hybrid with fully furnished
waterfront studios for
600 international students.

🔥  

HYBRIDIZE

🕐

12:30pm - 2pm

💬

A large-scale award-winning build
featuring 1,559 studios and
apartments for 2,000 students
and young professionals.

🔥  

SCALE

🕐

12:30pm - 3pm

💬

Completed in 2019, a 219 newly
-built micro-flats project
transforming the Amstelkwartier
industrial district.

🔥  

TRANSFORM

🕐

2pm - 3:30pm

💬

320 repurposed independent
premium studios developed in a
former office building with units
between 22 and 100m².

🔥  

DIVERSIFY

REGISTER

Day 2 is our day to look back and ahead at the forces shaping the industry. We'll kick-off the conference programme at De Hallen Studio's in Amsterdam and online for global audiences. Our in-person audience will experience a series of inspirational speakers and breakout discussions. Online attendees can join the sessions via livestream and view exclusive pre-programmed content during breakouts.

9:30 - 10:00

Registration

Online registration

10:00 - 10:20

Welcome & Opening Remarks

MODERATOR

Frank Uffen

Founder & Director of The Class Foundation

SPEAKER

Piet Van Hove

Vice President of EAIE

10:20 - 11:05

The Vision for University Cities of Tomorrow

This session hones in on the collective agenda to revive and improve our HEI and university cities both locally and at the level of the EU

🔍 Focus: What will the EU’s Recovery Plan look like in cities across the continent?

🔥 Debate: How might the student accommodation sector support universities in becoming connective hubs for European cities?

📍 Explore: What is our vision for creating future-proof smart cities? What actions are needed to get there?

💬 Discuss: What are some of the goals shared by leaders and experts on the future of our cities?

MODERATORS

Martijn van de Veen

Vice President of Business Development at ICEF

Kelly-anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

SPEAKERS

Prof. Barbara Gherri

Professor of Architectural Engineering at the Università degli Studi di Parma

Adam Glaser

AIA, LEED AP, Planning and Strategy, Urban designer

Eri Cuanalo

CEO and Chair at Collegiate AC

11:10 - 11:25

Nature and Technology: Friends or Enemies?

Problem: climate change, urban issues, and nature and technology are still seen as opposing forces Solution: bridging the gap between nature and technology through the Internet of Nature introduce the Internet of Nature Provide 2-4 case studies of the most promising examples in very different fields, meant to inspire those designing, maintaining, and managing urban green space about the opportunities smart technologies can offer us. For example: terrestrial LiDAR to make 3D models of street trees and quantify tree's $$$ value soil sensors to predict how much water a tree will need the day after tomorrow plant ID apps to crowdsource biodiversity mapping and reconnect people to the nature all around them Summarize with future ways forward

MODERATOR

Kelly-anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

SPEAKER

Nadina Galle

Ecological Engineer and Host of the #InternetofNature Podcast

11:30 - 12:15

Generation Z: Empowering Today, Transforming Tomorrow

This session, which is geared towards students, dives into the challenges and opportunities that come with accommodating our next generation’s ambitions for the future.

🔍 Focus: How do we demystify Gen Z trends, insights, and experiences?

🔥 Debate: How might we widen access to higher education?

📍 Explore: What will attract and retain students in our universities cities?

💬 Discuss: How might we create greater equality and inclusivity for the students of tomorrow?

MODERATORS

Tim Moonen

Managing Director at The Business of Cities

Jorick Beijer

Urbanist & Director at Blossity

SPEAKERS

ZamZam Ibrahim

Vice President of the European Students Union

Antony Lee

Founder of Global Young Minds

Carmen Neghina

Senior Marketing Analytics Consultant at StudyPortal

Maggie Childs

CEO of Home Town Media

Maggie Childs

12:20 - 12:35

The impact of design on wellbeing and how it can facilitate the creation of cohesive communities

Nido Student (“Nido”) and A Designer at Heart have been working together over the last three years to embed wellbeing focused design into Nido’s residences. Darren Gardner and Martina Pardo divulge into this successful collaboration; improving students’ living experiences through incredibly thoughtful and considered design (right down to hooks in laundry rooms to prevent mysteriously lost socks!) Given the intrinsic link between design and maximising wellbeing, Nido ensures students’ requirements are incorporated throughout Nido’s residences. Nido’s ultimate aim is to design spaces that enable connection and foster a strong sense of community, which in turn leads to increased satisfaction, retention, and positive recommendations.

12:45 - 13:15

Keynote Address by Christine Boland: Making Sense of the Zeitgeist

What is happening in the world? How does this influence the spirit of the time? What drivers are activated? How can I anticipate these? The current zeitgeist and field of tension will be shown to you in a visually tantalizing presentation by Christine and answers will evolve in reaction to this spirit of the time. It is in these answers that we discover what drives people.

SPEAKER

Christine Boland

Independent Trendwatcher

13:30 - 14:15

The Future of Student Experience

This session touches on how spatial design, technology, and digitisation work in tandem to elevate students’ sense of wellbeing, connection, and serendipity.

🔍 Focus: How and why should we build better living and working spaces for students?

🔥 Debate: Should your community be marketed as a brand? Why or why not?

📍 Explore: What role does stakeholder collaboration play in enhancing the student experience and helping cities to retain young talent?

💬 Discuss: In what ways can the student experience be digitised effectively, and what are the limitations?

MODERATORS

Antony Lee

Founder of Global Young Minds

Omar Ali

Head of Marketing & Communications at The Class Foundation

SPEAKERS

Caroline Young

Director of Student Plus at Queen's University Belfast

Billy Kontoulis

Business Development Director for Europe at ASK4

Charlie Macgregor

Founder & CEO of The Student Hotel

Christine Boland

Independent Trendwatcher

14:15 - 14:25

How to Foster Thriving Community for your members and business

In this video, Naima will discuss the positive impact that a thriving community experience can have on your members and business. She will go over the mindset and key elements for how to make a community thrive, with insights grounded in research and case studies from Conscious Coliving's extensive network of partners. Finally, she will talk about why fostering community is a responsibility for everyone, and how to facilitate community through different roles.

MODERATOR

SPEAKERS

Naima Ritter Figueres

Head of Community & Wellbeing at Conscious Coliving

Matt Lesniak

Co-Founder and Head of Impact & Innovation at Conscious Coliving

14:45 - 15:30

Scaling Social Value

This session revolves around investment, with particular attention on how capital can be leveraged to drive profit while catering to both young people and the planet at large

🔍 Focus: What are the benefits of non-financial investments for various stakeholders?

🔥Debate: Why is social value such an integral part of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)?

📍 Explore: What are the best models to build social value for our new era?

💬 Discuss: What do we gain (and lose) when we rethink traditional investment practices?

MODERATORS

Brigit Gerritse

Executive Director at ULI

Adina David

Urban Living at Greystar

SPEAKERS

Tim Moonen

Managing Director at The Business of Cities

Jo Wincheser

Executive Director of CBRE

Ulrike Hagendorf

Senior Research Manager European Residential at Catella

15:30 - 15:40

Key Takeaways: Legalities across Europe in Student Accommodation

This research aims at creating a holistic view of the legalities involved in student accommodation provision across the following European markers: United Kingdom, Iberia, France, Benelux, Italy, Germany, and Austria & CEE. Research questions were tailored to provide insight on the general status of student housing provision and the main legal and tax considerations PBSA investors, developers and operators should be mindful when entering these markets. The output of this research will be made public across The Class Foundation’s channels as: (a) an electronic report available for website download and (b) speaking engagements in public events organised by The Class Foundation in Q4 2021.

MODERATOR

Kelly-anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

Bartjan Zoetmulder

Tax Partner for Investment Management & Real Estate at Loyens & Loeff

Jasper Algera

Tax Lawyer at Loyens & Loeff

15:45 - 16:15

The Collective Agenda for Change

This session identifies the shared goals and responsibilities needed to bring about and sustain systems change within the student housing sector

🔍 Focus: What are the key takeaways from this session?

🔥 Debate: What is our Agenda for 2022?

📍 Explore: Who are the stakeholders and how do we hold them accountable?

💬 Discuss: How might we weave our overlapping interests into a solid action plan?

MODERATORS

Frank Uffen

Founder & Director of The Class Foundation

Maggie Childs

CEO of Home Town Media

SPEAKERS

Piet Van Hove

Vice President of EAIE

Djordy Seelmann

CEO of HousingAnywhere

Bill Kistler

Founder & Managing Partner at urbanOvation

16:15 - 16:27

Closing

We'll wrap up a fantastic day of programming with a prize giveaway from our Tech Sponsor, ASK4. After a few words from our team, the conference will be adjourned and attendees can grab a drink or a bite to eat nextdoor at the famous Amsterdam Foodhallen.

Frank Uffen

Founder & Director of The Class Foundation

Kelly-Anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

09:30 - 10:00

Registration

To gain entry to the venue, we will need to check your EU, UK, or equivalent Digital Certificate (i.e. a proof of vaccination, negative test result, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the form of a QR code). Once you've been given access to the premises, we'll scan your Eventbrite ticket and give you a lanyard and badge. Your badge comes with a unique QR code which links to your profile on Swapcard. By scanning this code with your smartphone, you can network with other attendees and get the most out of the event.

10:00 - 10:20

Welcome & Opening Remarks

MODERATOR

Frank Uffen

Founder and Director of The Class Foundation

SPEAKER

Piet Van Hove

Vice-President of EAIE

10:20 - 11:05

The Vision for University Cities of Tomorrow

This session hones in on the collective agenda to revive and improve our HEI and university cities both locally and at the level of the EU.

🔍 Focus: What will the EU’s Recovery Plan look like in cities across the continent?

🔥 Debate: How might the student accommodation sector support universities in becoming connective hubs for European cities?

📍 Explore: What is our vision for creating future-proof cities?

💬 Discuss: What are some of the goals shared by leaders and experts on the future of our cities?

MODERATORS

Kelly-Anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

Martijn van de Veen

VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT ICEF

SPEAKERS

Eri Cuanalo

CEO & Chair of Collegiate AC

Barbara Gherri

Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering at the Università degli Studi di Parma

Adam Glaser

AIA LEED AP PLANNING AND STRATEGY URBAN DESIGNER

11.30 - 12.15

Generation Z: Empowering Today, Transforming Tomorrow

This session, which is geared towards students, dives into the challenges and opportunities that come with accommodating our next generation’s ambitions for the future

🔍 Focus: How do we demystify Gen Z trends, insights, and experiences?

🔥 Debate: How might we widen access to higher education?

📍 Explore: What will attract and retain students in our universities cities?

💬 Discuss: How might we create greater equality and inclusivity for the students of tomorrow?

MODERATORS

Tim Moonen

Managing Director at The Business of Cities

Jorick Beijer

Urbanist & Director at Blossity

SPEAKERS

ZamZam Ibrahim

Vice President at the European Students Union

Antony Lee

Founder at Global Young Minds

Carmen Neghina

Senior Marketing Analytics Consultant at StudyPortal

Maggie Childs

CEO of Home Town Media

12:45 - 13:15

Keynote Address by Christine Boland: Making Sense of the Zeitgeist

The current zeitgeist and field of tension will be shown to you in a visually tantalizing presentation by Christine and answers will evolve in reaction to this spirit of the time. It is in these answers that we discover what drives people.

SPEAKER

Christine Boland

Independent Trendwatcher

13:30 - 14:15

The Future of Student Experience

This session touches on how spatial design, technology, and digitisation work in tandem to elevate students’ sense of wellbeing, connection, and serendipity.

🔍 Focus: How and why should we build better living and working spaces for students?

🔥 Debate: Should your community be marketed as a brand? Why or why not?

📍 Explore: What role does stakeholder collaboration play in enhancing the student experience and helping cities to retain young talent?

💬 Discuss: In what ways can the student experience be digitised effectively, and what are the limitations?

MODERATORS

Antony Lee

Founder of Global Young Minds

Omar Ali

Head of Marketing & Communications at The Class Foundation

SPEAKERS

Caroline Young

Director of Student Plus at Queen’s University Belfast

Billy Kontoulis

Business Development Director for Europe at ASK4

Charlie Macgregor

CEO and Founder at The Student Hotel

Christine Boland

Independent Trendwatcher

14:45 - 15:30

Scaling Social Value

This session revolves around investment, with a particular focus on how capital can be leveraged to drive profit, while catering to both young people and the planet at large.

🔍 Focus: What are the benefits of non-financial investments for various stakeholders?

🔥 Debate: Why is social value such an integral part of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)

📍 Explore: What are the best models to build social value for our new era?

💬 Discuss: What do we gain (and lose) when we rethink traditional investment practices?

MODERATORS

Brigit Gerritse

Executive Director at ULI

Adina David

Urban Living at GreyStar

SPEAKERS

Tim Moonen

Managing Director at The Business of Cities

Jo Wincheser

Executive Director of CBRE

Ulrike Hagendorf

Senior Research Manager European Residential at Catella

Chris Holloway

Director of Business Development at Yugo

15:45 - 16:15

The Collective Agenda for Change

This session identifies the shared goals and responsibilities needed to bring about and sustain systems change within the student housing sector.

🔍 Focus: What are the key takeaways from this session?

🔥 Debate: What is our Agenda for 2022?

📍 Explore: Who are the stakeholders and how do we hold them accountable?

💬 Discuss: How might we weave our overlapping interests into a solid action plan?

MODERATORS

Frank Uffen

CEO and Founder of The Class Foundation

Maggie Childs

CEO of Home Town Media

SPEAKERS

Piet Van Hove

Vice President of EAIE

Djordy Seelmann

CEO of HousingAnywhere

Bill Kistler

Founder and Managing Partner at urbanOvation

16:15 - 16:30

Closing & ASK4 Prize Giveaway

After wrapping up our final session, Frank Uffen will deliver some closing remarks to attendees before our Tech Sponsor, ASK4, gives a prize away to a lucky winner.

MODERATORS

Frank Uffen

Founder & Director of The Class Foundation

Kelly-Anne Watson

Head of Programmes at The Class Foundation

Transportation

Flights (discounts)

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Public transportation

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Accommodation

Hotels (partner discounts)

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Useful information

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Registration

Transportation

Flights (discounts)

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Public transportation

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Accommodation

Hotels (partner discounts)

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Useful information

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More information

Will the conference still go forward despite the partial lockdown in the Netherlands?

The 2021 Class Conference is going ahead as planned with some slight adjustments.

Though the Dutch government announced a partial lockdown on 12 November, the new measures will not affect much of our scheduled in-person programming.  

Site Tours:

As before, each site tour during the day on 17 November will require a valid coronavirus entry pass (QR code). We advise participants to wear face masks and maintain social distance during the tours.

Best in Class Awards & Partner Dinner:

Because one of the new measures requires the catering industry and non-essential shops to close at 7 PM, our invite-only Partner Dinner on 17 November will be held earlier: from 4:30 to 7:00 PM.  The Best in Class Awards will announced at 5:00 PM via live stream. If you have RSVP'd to the Partner Dinner, we will contact you with more information including the location and schedule. If you have not RSVP'd, it is not too late. Please email us the first and last names of your attendees, their email addresses, and dietary restrictions.

Conference Day:

The conference programme on 18 November will commence at 9:30 AM at De Hallen Studio's with attendee registration. To gain access to the venue, you will need to show your valid coronavirus entry pass (QR code). Once inside, we advise participants to wear face masks and maintain social distance, but there will be no assigned seating.  

For those who are coming to the conference from outside the Netherlands, click here to check the latest travel advice from the Dutch government.

Can I sponsor this event?

Yes. You can fill out this sponsorship contact form to register your interest and our team will get back to you promptly.

Can I become a media partner of this event?

Yes. You can fill out this media partner contact form to register your interest and we will get back to you promptly.

Do you offer press passes for this event?

Yes. Please fill out this press pass form and we will get back to you soon.

Can I become an exhibitor at The Class Conference?

Yes. You can fill out this contact form to register your interest and we will get back to you promptly.

How much will a ticket cost?

Onsite tickets: €800 excluding VAT for non-partners. Partners can get in touch with Oscar to claim their complimentary on-site tickets. Non-partners can also get in touch with Oscar to discuss our partnership offer.

Online tickets: For the virtual experience we will be offering unlimited tickets for €120 excluding VAT.

Where will The Class Conference take place?

For our 2021 conference, we're offering a hybrid experience from Amsterdam's De Hallen Studio's. 400+ attendees will join us on-site from over 120 organisations across Europe. We'll also be livestreaming the event globally to our audience of virtual attendees.

When does The Class Conference take place?

Thursday November 18th, 2021. Visit our conference webpage to receive more information about this industry flagship event.

How can I contact your team?

You can contact us via the contact form or by calling Omar, our Head of Marketing & Communication, via +31 (0)6 1825 5047

Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Suppliers

ASK4
Technology Partner
SALTO Systems
Silver Sponsor
CX-Place
Silver Sponsor
Glide
Silver Sponsor
Smart Studios
Silver Sponsor
HousingAnywhere
Silver Sponsor
Technogym
Wellness Partner
LOFT
Official Supplier
Nido Student
Conference Exhibitor
StarRez
Conference Exhibitor
WeWash
Conference Exhibitor
Assa Abloy
Conference Exhibitor
Facilitee
Conference Exhibitor
Geoswift
Conference Exhibitor
Wifirst
Conference Exhibitor
RealPage
Conference Exhibitor
Glide
Conference Exhibitor
CX-Place
Conference Exhibitor
SALTO Systems
Conference Exhibitor
Smart Studios
Conference Exhibitor
HousingAnywhere
Conference Exhibitor
HeyHub
Virtual Silver Sponsor
AXA-IM
Virtual Silver Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

No items found.

Gold Sponsors

No items found.

Silver Sponsors

Media Partners

No items found.

Join our industry-leading community today!