HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht combines education and research at Utrecht Science Park

On 10 October, the day of sustainability, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht celebrated the fact that all of its Utrecht education and research has been united in the Utrecht Science Park. Uniting all Utrecht activities in a single location promotes collaboration.

During the past five years, Utrecht education and research by HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU) have been re-accommodated: buildings in the Utrecht city centre were sold, the premises in Utrecht Science Park (USP) were renovated and a new building was erected. The renovated buildings and the new building were designed to promote collaboration: collaboration between the degree programmes, but also with partners from other knowledge institutions and professional practice. For example, the set-up includes various labs and workplaces in which projects can be worked on with external partners. Jan Bogerd, executive board chairman: “Society faces challenges in the areas of health, technology, safety, accessibility and sustainability. These challenges cannot be solved through one interest, one technology and one discipline. They require collaboration.”

Meeting

The HU buildings have different catering concepts, thereby tempting staff members and students to enter other buildings. The outdoor spaces at the campus too are designed on the basis of the idea that they have to establish meetings and connections. Students and staff members were closely involved in the design process and the further realisation and layout of the premises. Collaboration is the basis for the design, because of the ambitions pursued by HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht in terms of education and research.

Sustainability

Environmental friendliness was an important criterion for the renovation and new construction. The new building at Heidelberglaan 15, which accommodates the programmes in the Economics & Management domain, the Institutes for Media and Communication and the Institute for ICT, even achieves an ‘excellent’ score on the scale of BREEAM, an international measuring tool for the sustainability of buildings, areas and demolition projects. This high score is achieved by, among other things, energy-efficient lifts and escalators, generating as much daylight in study and work areas as possible, solar panels and green roof gardens. Environmentally-friendly buildings are important because the HU collaborates with students, staff members and partners on a sustainable future, economically, ecologically and socially. The HU bases its efforts on the 17 sustainable development goals of the UN, which focus on themes such as combating poverty, hunger and climate change; and promoting peace, health and well-being, quality education, equal rights, human rights, clean water, clean energy, employment, circular economy, sustainable city, corporate social responsibility and ecological sustainability (healthy nature, both above and below the water surface).

The uniting of HU activities was celebrated with a symposium and an ‘open podium’ (open stage) route, during which visitors were given the opportunity to become acquainted with, among other things, projects on poverty reduction, inclusion and vitality, and with innovation sites such as the HU Tech Labs and the Selficient House.