Many more members for student associations ‘because of the need for social contacts

Student associations see their number of applications increase this year. This is reflected in figures from the National Chamber of Associations, which represents 48 student associations.

Whereas in 2019 the associations could count on just over 10,000 registrations, this year that number has risen to 15,200 registrations. The figures are not yet final, with some associations students can still register.

Student associations in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Groningen have the biggest risers. In Eindhoven, for example, the number of registrations rises by 79 percent compared to last year.

In spite of the corona crisis, the (prospective) students continue to register. And that is quite unexpected, says Yorick van der Heiden of the National Chamber of Associations. “Because of the lack of many activities during introduction weeks we thought that students would not find their way to the association. Some associations prepared themselves for the worst: what if only a few students applied?”

Yet the number of registrations is pouring in. Some associations are even introducing a membership stop for the first time.

Getting to know people

“Students are looking for 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 study,” Van der Heiden explains. “Prospective students crave to build a network, get to know new people.”

Gideon Franken chairman of the Eindhoven association a.s.v. SSRE joins them: “We think new students need new social contacts after months of intelligent lockdown.”

SSRE sees a doubling in the number of registrations compared to last year. And that’s a windfall after the association was forced to stay closed for months.