Housing Generation Erasmus
A new chapter for international student mobility*
The opportunity to explore other European countries during studies was once exclusively the province of elite gentlemen undertaking their eighteenth century Grand Tours. In recent decades, youth mobility has been vastly expanded through Erasmus+ and deepened through the Bologna Process.
In Bologna, origin city of both the Erasmus Charter and the Bologna Process, international students continue to seek fantastic experiences at its ancient university. It is in the context of internationalizing education that Italy, like other exchange destinations, must rise to the challenge of accommodating increasingly diverse young talent with varied lengths of stay. In doing so, players must balance needs and expectations, maintain local distinctiveness and ensure urban development processes unfold sustainably.
What are the components of an excellent international exchange experience? How can improved accommodation options make these programmes more accessible? What are students seeking accommodation in Italy looking for? And what does the international mobility of talent mean for the culture and economy of European cities?
- Italian cities are making efforts to attract investment in the development of student housing. In Bologna, the city is shaping a plan to distribute student housing beyond the ‘core’ of the city and into areas where regeneration could benefit the local area – this type of regeneration has multiple benefits for the locality. Data driven approaches to urban planning and regeneration are increasingly being used, which focus on understanding the DNA of an area as opposed to outdated methods of urban planning, some of which have proved to be unsuccessful.
- Co-working providers previously searched for prime sites but they are now seeking relationships with alternative providers, where they can combine uses which benefit each other. Quality and branding are increasingly important in attracting individuals who are seeking a well-developed offering of facilities, convenience and style.
- Investment must move towards activating areas in cities with an eye for both day and night time urban dynamics – the night-time economy is an important factor in major European cities in alleviating stress at busy periods and providing flexible entertainment and employment, but infrastructure needs to modernize to cater to the changes.
- The distribution of human social activities throughout the city, through zoning, has resulted in under-use of resources. Development of urban areas must mix use and activities.
- Generation Z desires a shared community and shared belongings – products need to respond to these changing preferences and ways of life.
Trends Panel: Housing Generation Erasmus
The trends panel will discuss student accommodation in the context of expanding EU policy facilitating the internationalisation of higher education in Europe. We will explore the role of accommodation in the success of Erasmus+ aims and the student exchange experience. We will learn how Italian operators cater to increasingly diverse short-term visitors with particular needs and expectations. And we will hear about the opportunities and challenges for Italian cities hosting students, higher education staff and talent.
University of Bologna
Foundation for Urban Innovation