Student associations in the Netherlands have been receiving an unprecedented number of applications this year. So far, 15,200 students have registered, compared to last year’s 10,000. 

The pandemic is doing nothing to curb student enthusiasm this year. A sharp increase in the number of registrations to student associations was reflected in recent figures from the National Chamber of Association (LKvV), which represents 48 student associations. A representative from the organisation says it’s “because of the need for social contact,” reports NOS.

While the figures are not yet final, in Eindhoven alone the number has increased by 79% compared to last year.

Meanwhile, registrations for the Groningen Student Corps were nearly twice as high this year as last year. There were 900 registrants vying for the 450 places available. 

Corona doesn’t deter

Prospective students have not been dissuaded by the coronavirus. The applications keep coming in. Yorick van der Heiden of the LKvV finds that surprising. “Due to the lack of many activities during the introduction weeks, we thought that students would not find their way to the association. Some associations were preparing for the worst: what if only a few students applied?”

Quite the reverse. With the overwhelming number of applications, some associations are even introducing a membership ban for the first time.

Making friends

“Prospective students crave networking, meeting new people.” Van der Heiden explains. “Students are looking for a connection, want to find their place in the city. And now that there are few physical lectures, you hardly meet any people from outside your studies.”

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Gideon Franken, chairman of the Eindhoven association a.s.v SSRE suspects the students “need new social contacts after months of intelligent lockdown.”

Are you a student whose university plans have been affected by coronavirus? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Feature Image: Buro Millenial/Pexels

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