How do you ensure a positive impulse in post-war neighborhoods, in such a way that the existing residents also benefit? And not only in terms of the quality of life of the neighborhood, but also in increasing the well-being of the residents through positive imagery, responding to needs, and building on what is already there.
That is what the thesis workshop The Hague Southwest of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Center for Governance of Migration and Diversity is all about. In this thesis workshop, students from various study programs work together with employees of municipalities, neighborhood professionals and residents from the neighborhoods in The Hague Southwest.
It is about connecting higher education to existing issues in society. The Municipality of The Hague is enthusiastic about this approach and honors it with a subsidy of 50,000 euros. Campus The Hague, the Hague branch of Leiden University, is adding another 30% to this because of their ambition to have knowledge benefit the city.
Giving back research results to society is an important core element of the thesis workshop.'
The subsidy falls under the Social Impact Higher Education scheme. Mandy Koenraads is the coordinator of the thesis workshop and is proud of this success: 'We have been working for a year and a half now and several (thesis) studies have already taken place. Giving back research results to society is an important core element of the thesis workshop.'
The topics of the theses include the safety perception of the residents, the stimulation of citizen participation by the municipality and methods for increasing social cohesion.
'We challenge our students to translate their scientific findings for a target group other than themselves. We see that ideas are really adopted by the various stakeholders. The subsidy is a good signal from the municipality that they appreciate the project of the thesis workshop and want to contribute to it.'
How will the money be used? Koenraads: 'Including extra support on site by a student assistant. But also for articles in De Posthoorn city magazine to inform and involve more people in the thesis workshop. We can now also support creative initiatives by students and residents, for example if they want to make a video.'
The Hague Southwest Thesis Workshop is an educational platform where various master's students from Leiden University, TU Delft, and Erasmus Rotterdam conduct research from various disciplines in response to formulated practice-based challenges by, among others, the municipality of The Hague, projects in The Hague Southwest and its residents.