IT students move from classroom to campus

september 3, 2018

Partnership between students, researchers and companies at Brightlands Smart Services Campus intensifies


Third and fourth year IT students at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences will start attending classes at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen in the new 2018-2019 academic year and will no longer be attending these at a university building. Together with professors, researchers and companies, these students will be working on practical assignments focused on innovation and development.

Students and employers brought closer

By bringing students in the final phase of their studies closer to employers on a structural basis, they will get to know one another better and gain more insight into one another’s needs. Employers based at the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen include Accenture, Conclusion, APG, Politie Limburg, WeCash, SMEs and start-ups. Moving the students’ class location to the campus will add economic value to the region. Each year, around 50 practical assignments are completed by several parties working together in areas such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

200 students

A total of 200 students and 15 professors and researchers involved in the Data Intelligence lectureship at Zuyd will be moving to the Brightlands Smart Services Campus. Each student is allowed to participate in four out of a total of twelve minors (in this case, educational programs lasting one quarter each) including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization, Data Science and Internet of Things.

Extra growth possible in Limburg, stagnation elsewhere
Although students can still register for an IT study program at Zuyd until October 1, 2018, the number of pre-registrations for the program is already over ten percent higher than last year. Due in part to cutbacks, the enrollment of new students for various university-level IT programs in other parts of the Netherlands has been frozen, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence, data science, data visualization and blockchain. This is not the case in Limburg, much to the pleasure of the local business community, given the scarcity of potential candidates on the job market. Unlike some other parts of the Netherlands, this region is not suffering from a shortage of highly qualified professors and researchers thanks to good partnerships and exchanges with business.

“Knowledge development” and “making connections”
“We are really pleased that our senior students will be at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus starting this academic year,” according to Peter Princen, director of the IT faculty at Zuyd. “This is an environment offering so many activities, and where innovative ideas are developed and implemented. We are confident that this step will not only benefit the quality of the education offered, but also the development of knowledge in the region.”


Peter Verkoulen, CEO of the Brightlands Smart Services Campus points out how important this is for the campus. “Here at Brightlands Smart Services Campus, we are building an ecosystem that operates on a European level, featuring a high capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Campus has a particular appeal for multinationals and large organizations as well as regional companies and start-ups with a vested interest in smart service innovations, and talented people can study and find a challenging career here. We are happy that the Zuyd IT students will become a full-fledged part of this ecosystem and that we can facilitate their efforts to make connections with the companies and organizations in our community.”

Studenten ICT van Zuyd op de Brightlands Smart Service Campus compressed.JPG 

About Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences is an ambitious knowledge institute in the heart of Europe that focuses on three core activities: education for students, training and courses for professionals and research for companies and institutions. The various programs offered at Zuyd have been ranked at the top in the Keuzegids (higher education selection guide) for years. This is also due to the personal attention and small scale Zuyd is known for. Zuyd also works very closely with business, (knowledge) institutes in various sectors and government agencies - across the borders of disciplines and organizations - based on the conviction that the 21st century doesn’t just demand knowledge but also the ability to apply this knowledge in practice. It does this both within and outside of the (Eu)region. Zuyd’s roots and expertise date back more than one hundred years. Based on these strengths and in line with those of the (Eu)region, the research being done at Zuyd concentrates on the themes of innovative health care and technology, the transition to a sustainably built environment, life science and materials and smart services. Thanks to the support of 1,700 employees, Zuyd is able to offer its 13,000 students 50 bachelor’s, master’s and associate degree programs. For further information:

About Brightlands Smart Services Campus

The Brightlands Smart Services Campus is part of Brightlands, an open innovation community made up of four campuses where scientists, entrepreneurs, students and investors work together on the “grand challenges” in sustainability and health, healthy nutrition and digital transformation. The Brightlands Smart Services Campus focuses primarily on the development and facilitation of a community that can convert data into smart services to help improve our quality of life. The “founding fathers” of the campus are APG, Maastricht University and the Province of Limburg. For further information:

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