Substantial influx of student associations ‘because of the need for social contacts

Student associations will receive many more registrations this year. This is reflected in figures from the National Chamber of Associations, which represents 48 student associations.

Last year the associations received just over 10,000 registrations, this year at least 15,200. The numbers aren’t final yet, with some associations students can still register.

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

Despite the corona crisis, (prospective) students want to become members. And that is quite unexpected, says Yorick van der Heiden of the National Chamber of Associations. “Because of the lack of many activities during the 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?”

Still, there are a lot of applications and some associations even introduce a membership stop for the first time.

Getting to know people

“Students are looking for membership, want to find their place in the city. And now that there are few physical lectures, you hardly meet people from outside your studies”, Van der Heiden explains. “Prospective students are eager to build up a network, get to know new people.”

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

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