A changing world
The world around us is changing. And education, the labour market and students are changing with it. We have identified the following trends, and in our role as a student housing provider, we will aim to respond to these over the coming period.
The current population of tenants primarily consists of Generation Z. This generation (born between 1995 and 2010) is highly motivated to make something of their future. These are young people who want to be able to live a good life in 2050 too. That is why they are calling for change, and fast. To them, green is not a colour but a lifestyle. Over the coming plan period, we want to continue to respond to the wants and needs of this generation.
We are already taking the generation coming after Z into account too. Generation Alpha is made up of those born between 2010 and 2025. This empathetic and broad-minded generation is growing up in an increasingly diverse world and a world in which such diversity is encouraged. Social media offer an increasingly significant benchmark for comparison and every young person has equal access to these channels. We have noted that students and the young employed will be converging more in the future. It is for this reason that we will no longer want to refer to ‘students’ but instead to ‘young people studying’.
Over the coming plan period, we will be working with partners to become more familiar with the target group of young people. We will be researching their wishes and expectations and establishing what Idealis could and is keen to do for them.
More and more knowledge institutions are collaborating with each other and offering students combined educational pathways. Lecturers, researchers and students now work together across disciplines. Study programmes have become increasingly less standardised and are instead more flexible, offering more options for customisation and allowing students to take courses at another university, for instance. Students decide for themselves when, where and how they study. At the same time, the labour market for graduates is tightening. We are therefore not ruling out the possibility of students in the future entering the labour market after one or two years of study and then continuing to study through distance learning. Digitalisation provides great opportunities for this. Access to education is now being seen as very important once again. This is allowing for better progression from MBO (senior secondary vocational education) to HBO (higher professional education) and university.
We anticipate that collaboration, digitalisation and progression will impact housing demand and the housing needs of future tenants. We also believe it is important to encourage students to get together in complexes, preventing loneliness. We want to give young people studying in Wageningen for a short period of time the opportunity to connect with other students through such meet-up spaces.
Looking at the Dutch labour market in 2030, what stands out is that the largest group is made up of 60-year-olds due to retire in the near future. By 2030, people under 30 will make up a relatively small group. So this means an ageing workforce that also has fewer young people in it, resulting in an ever-shrinking working population. The increasing tightness in the labour market is already noticeable; by 2025, there will be shortages across almost the entire country. This will have major repercussions, not only for Idealis, but also for the partners we work with. Over the coming plan period, we will dedicate ourselves to being an attractive employer as well as a good partner and client.