Market Update Western Europe

Virtual Summit NL

June 30th, 2020


During this summit, we investigated both the immediate and long-term impact of the covid crisis on the Netherlands. With leaders in higher education, government, and the real estate industry we looked at the next academic year and beyond. We explored how to save and restart the economy of Dutch university cities via collaboration, investment, and innovation.

Movie and photos

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Bartjan Zoetmulder

Tax Partner

Loyens & Loeff

Bas Wilberts

Head of Residential & Hotel Investments

Savills Investments BV

Djordy Seelmann



Felix Hillen

Managing Director

The Student Hotel

Frank Uffen


The Class Foundation

Frans Snijders

Director International Office

VU University Amsterdam

Jacqueline van Marle

Head of Marketing & Communications, External & International Affairs

The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Mark Kuijpers

Managing Director, NL


Paul Tholenaars



Yoony Kim

Managing Director

The Class Foundation

Bringing together the intertwined industries, including higher education, real estate, and European university cities.


  1. Mid to long-term optimism: With confidence in the government’s response to the pandemic, many students and talent have seen The Netherlands as the safest place to study through the crisis. As many as 80-90% of international students remained at some universities. While international numbers are expected to drop in the coming semester, between recovering mobility and increased demand from domestic students, institutions expect programmes to return to normalcy by January. Recent surveys indicate that the country will experience long term popularity among Europeans should the UK falls out of favor due to Brexit and raised fees.
  2. Fall 2020 = Blended: For the coming semester, HEIs are opting for blended and virtual teaching models. A likely trend for the region will be to offer virtual study abroad programmes, so that students can still receive the same or similar level of education without leaving their ‘home’ countries. Another offer may be shorter-term exchanges, which will require even more flexibility in student housing contracts.
  3. Residence halls as extensions of the campus: With strict regulations for on-campus contact limiting institutions to as few as 20-30% of students on campus at once, the residences will need to adapt. The need for social learning spaces with video capabilities, strong internet and enhanced resident wellbeing support are higher than ever.
  4. Continued need for housing: The student housing shortage in key university cities will remain a concern for keeping the cities competitive. In cities such as the Hague, the anticipated bottleneck of students in the second half of the academic year indicates a need for provision.
  5. Flexibility is key: Being easy and clear on cancellation policies and flexible periods of stay have helped operators through the crisis and are anticipated to help reassure people to book accommodation through the recovery.


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