Heerlen collaborates with RWTH Aachen

22 September 2022

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule – RWTH in Aachen (DE) is preparing to leap across the border to Limburg (NL) – part of a master's programme will take place in Heerlen this autumn. All authorities involved in the region are enthusiastic.

Original article in Dutch by Benti Banach, de Limburger
25 August 2022

A total of 30 international master's students from the largest technical university in Germany, RWTH Aachen, will come to Heerlen this autumn for the 2-year Transforming City Regions course. "Not everything has been finalised yet, but the main steps have already been taken. I am optimistic that we will come out of it," says RWTH Urban Planning professor and Programme Leader Christa Reicher. Parkstad Limburg is also very enthusiastic. "We already cooperate with RWTH in strengthening Zuid-Limburg in an Euregio Meuse-Rhine context. Now we want RWTH to have a permanent place in Parkstad. We are in the process of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the exact details," said a Parkstad spokesperson. An amount of €200 000 has been made available from the Regiodeal1 for the cooperation between Parkstad and the German university.

The students will mainly focus on the Heerlen-North area in their research into city-region transformation. The RWTH department of Urban Planning sees Parkstad as an interesting area for education and research, RWTH as a whole wants to increase its international character and become more visible on the Dutch side of the border.

Despite the proximity, few students from Limburg choose to study in Aachen. Heerlen councillor Jordy Clemens welcomed the arrival of a small part of RWTH. programme, "We want more tertiary education in the city centre, which is why we have contacts not only with RWTH but also with Maastricht University." Heerlen has also been trying to attract more students for some time, including by creating additional student rooms and a campus. Whether the master's students will also live in Heerlen, however, is not certain. Aachen is known for its housing shortage, as is Maastricht. "Especially during the winter semester, many students in Aachen suffer from room shortages," he said.

Whether Heerlen will develop as an appealing city for Aachen students for a longer period remains to be seen. According to RWTH, "due to its proximity and connections by rail and road, this is quite possible."

The exact location for the study programme is not yet known.

1 Regiodeal Parkstad Limburg is where the Regio and State are working together to boost the development of the Parkstad Limburg region. Region and State are jointly investing €80 million in the region over the next 4 years.

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