The Recovery Plan

Author
The Class Foundation

The Class Foundation is a partner-based non-profit organisation with a simple goal: to further the professionalism and knowledge of living, learning, and working in university cities. Established in 2011, The Class Foundation is now one of the largest European student housing platforms open to anyone and everyone. Our mission is to be the leading think tank on the future of living. We aggregate an international network of nearly 100 partner organisations, members, and associations. By bringing people together, we offer and share high-quality information and best practices. We aim for a student housing market that is open, international, professional, sophisticated, and developed to fully accommodate student needs

What is the Recovery Plan?

As countries are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the European region through NextGeneration EU provides more than €1,5 trillion recovery budget plans to bounce back from the crisis by becoming more resilient, greener, sustainable, and more digital. Strategic sectors such as research and innovation, digital transformation, infrastructure, and the single market are the focal investments within the scheme.

How will it affect us?
More than 50% of NextGeneration EU funding goes to programs under themes such as research and innovation, climate and digital transitions, recovery and resilience. Specifically on research and innovation, over €90 billion will be channeled to programs and institutions to support cooperation, capacity building, student exchanges, networking and policy support, and reforms in education, training, youth and sport. With the next round of annual budget allocation, higher education institutions (HEIs) and its related sectors must prepare for this window of opportunities.

  • Firstly, the scheme will financially invest in campuses that aim to be more environmentally sustainable, carbon-neutral and energy-efficient. This includes the upgrade of current campus facilities, adoption of green technology, etc.
  • Secondly, when it comes to student mobility, the scheme ensures flexibility for students amidst the uncertainty of travel restrictions. The scheme encourages HEIs to support virtual and hybrid learning without financially penalise students and prevents students from losing their study credits.
  • Finally, NextGeneration EU may as well invest in the wider transformation of university cities. Many European talent hubs are already transforming the infrastructure of their city. For example, Milan is transforming 35 km of streets with a citywide expansion of cycling and walking infrastructure. Amsterdam is approaching a new economic framework with “doughnut model”, aiming to replace the business-as-usual paradigm by prioritising the wellbeing of people and environment.

Opportunities ahead.
These recovery plans should be embraced from all supporting sectors, including student accommodation stakeholders. Only a partnerships-play between the higher education industry, student accommodation providers and local governments can turn good intentions into impact.

Capturing the opportunities that align with the recovery agenda creates many rooms for growth and improvement. NextGeneration EU for university upgrading , for instance, may give energy neutral campuses a competitive advantage. This all starts with a shift from past business model towards people, place, purpose.

People want to (re)connect with others, while as well increasing their physical and mental wellbeing. In capturing this opportunity, place needs a new sense of purpose.

Increasing need for improvement means that stakeholders cannot rely solely on their knowledge of the business. We understand that there are so many unknowns worth discussing, especially how the recovery plan would affect student accommodation and its related industries.

Connecting different expertise, industries and stakeholders is one way to make all of this happen, and that is our purpose at The Class Foundation. As a platform of events, content creation and discussion, we want to connect the dots between people, place, purpose.

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