New Affordable Accommodation for Students

11 07 2008
Student Services Heidelberg celebrates beginning of construction work for a new hall of residence for 194 students — Ready by start of winter semester 2009/10 — Appeal to state of Baden-Württemberg to raise building subsidies for halls of residence
What use is a coveted place at Germany’s oldest university if budding academics cannot find affordable accommodation? Excellent teaching and research are not the only factors dictating a successful career at university, the social infrastructure is equally crucial. Accordingly, Student Services (Studentenwerk) Heidelberg has created 337 new rooms for students over the last five years. And on Friday, 11 July it also celebrated the beginning of construction work for its 44th hall of residence in Heidelberg. At Neuenheimer Feld No. 136, 194 students will in future be able to live and learn in single and double apartments, residential units for four and a flat specially designed for wheelchair users. The site is located right down by the Neckar river and the first student residents will be able to move in just over a year from now, in September 2009.

“The 194 new units that Student Services are creating on the south banks of the Neckar are a genuine asset for Heidelberg as a study location,” said rector Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel at the ceremony. He pointed out that in the national and international contest for the best brains the social parameters for studying are becoming more and more important. The new hall of residence will be situated close to the Max Kade Student Residence and Encounter Centre. “This makes it another feature in our overall project ‘Student Living on the Neckar’ and another focal point on the Neuenheimer Feld campus,” said Ulrike Leiblein, managing director of Student Services. The heart of the complex is a versatile inner courtyard with rooms for student activities. “Access to the Neckar will be assured by footpaths and cycle lanes, thus putting the whole campus in closer touch with the river,” Leiblein noted.

The hall has been designed by Malte Tschörner, an architect working for the Hans and Christine Nickl architects’ bureau. Just over a year ago his proposal was selected in the course of an architectural competition. The overall costs for the hall of residence amount to approx. 8.5 million euros. The state of Baden-Württemberg provides the building ground and a subsidy of 1.358 million euros towards the construction costs. The lion’s share of the financing has to be shouldered by Student Services. As part of the sum has to be borrowed from banks, the quickly rising interest rates are pushing up the construction costs and hence the rent. Students must expect to pay about 300 euros per month. Here the state of Baden-Württemberg is called upon to bump up its subsidies for hall of residence construction if rents are to be affordable for students from socially disadvantaged families and developing countries. With interest rates rising and the very sensible, but also very expensive, requirements for heat insulation and the use of renewable energies, greater commitment on the part of the state government is urgently necessary.

Please address any inquiries to
Sarah Wüst
Public Relations Officer
Student Services Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542644

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

Irene Thewalt
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

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