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International studies and Urban Studies have moved to Schouwburgstraat

The International Studies and Urban studies study programmes have moved to a new address. After five years in the Wijnhaven building they have moved to the Schouwburgstraat. ‘It is nice to have our own place in The Hague as the Faculty of Humanities.’

There are still boxes in the hallway, but programme directors Giles Scott-Smith and André Gerrits are already getting used to their new homebase. ‘International Studies started in a building at Lange Voorhout,’ says Scott-Smith. ‘Ever since we had to leave in 2016, we wished for our own building. We ended up at the back of the Wijnhaven building, but that wasn’t sufficient for us.’

‘A building of our own makes us visible'

‘Over there, the facilities were better than at Lange Voorhout,’ Gerrits adds, ‘but it did have the atmosphere of an insurance office.’ A big advantage of the new location that both programme directors mention is the personal nature of the building at Schouwburgstraat. Scott-Smith: ‘Because our lecturers often work both in The Hague and in Leiden, they sometimes feel less involved in the study programme. A building of our own makes us more visible and contributes to the feeling that we are a community.’

According to Gerrits, the building also has strategic advantages. ‘I think it is a good thing to have a recognisable place in The Hague as the Faculty of Humanities. It might sound a bit abstract administrative, but a building of our own can be a good boost for strategic thinking, for example about the position of the humanities on Campus The Hague.’

Collaboration and longer opening hours

But that is something for the future: first, the move has to be completed. Despite the fact that due to Covid measures not all of the building’s facilities can be used yet, the programme directors do already have their favourite spots. ‘The entrance is a nice open spot,’ says Gerrits. ‘People can come together there and sit. I like buildings in which you need to pass people first before arriving at your office space.’

Scott-Smith is particularly excited about the garden at the back of the building. ‘I would like to contribute to it. Maybe in the long term we could install solar panels there. That way, we immediately create a connection with Leiden University College, which is very involved with sustainability. I hope that the building will eventually become a site of innovation, where we can collaborate with the municipality of The Hague, for example. But first, we will ensure that we can have longer opening hours. Currently, the building closes at five. That is very inconvenient in the academic world.’

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