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jaargang 43, 22 november 2000

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Guaranteed Housing for Foreign Guests in 2001
TU/e is seeking "creative solutions" to problems with housing an increasing foreign staff and student population, says Board of Executives secretary ir. Harry Roumen. Next year all foreign guests will be guaranteed suitable housing. This year the number of foreign guests at TU/e went up by 20 per cent, while no extra housing was available.

BIA (Bureau of International Activities) and the Board of Executives have been working on a deal with housing corporation Vestide, the owner of Fellotel, to guarantee foreign guests suitable housing. Although they are still working on details, both parties say they expect to sign the contract before the end of the year. "While implementation of the deal will start in January, the full guarantee can probably only be given to foreign guests in the next Academic Year," states BIA director Leo Robben.

On Campus
"We would also like to build our own housing on campus, although I'm not yet free to say where," says Roumen. "However, this all depends on whether we can get the necessary permits from the city of Eindhoven. The Board of Executives will be talking to local authorities about this and other matters next week." The problem with this idea is the fact that city planners have labelled TU/e as an industrial estate. Therefore, permits for housing will not be easy to obtain. Also, various labs may have to take extra safety precautions if people are living in the vicinity.
At the moment, foreign guests at TU/e are often housed at Fellotel. However, this building consists of 131 apartments, not enough for an average of 600 guests and a total of 500 new guest this year. So guests are asked to find their own housing after half a year to make room for new people. With a housing shortage in Eindhoven, this is usually difficult, although BIA always helps.

Many guests with a limited budget find this stipulation stressful while settling in at a new job or course. The average stay at TU/e is a year, but graduate students and post-docs stay for two to four years.
"Good accommodation is an absolute condition if you want people to function properly, we understand that," says Frank Huijnk from Vestide. "It will be a real challenge to set up adequate facilities. I don't foresee any problems in obtaining enough housing, but we must also make sure that we are offering the right housing. We want to give foreign guests at TU/e the accommodation they need from the moment they arrive. Hopefully, in the future it will not be necessary for people to move after half a year."

No Evictions
At the moment, BIA looks after housing for most foreign guests. BIA's housing co-ordinator Henny Keuker says she has never had to evict foreign guests from Fellotel, but she has definitely had a difficult year. "Sometimes we have been able to extend contracts by two months or so, in other cases we managed to find rooms or other apartments." The responsibility for housing foreign guests will be transferred to or shared with Vestide in future.
"The difficulty for Vestide will be with annual high and low seasons. They probably don't want their apartments to be empty in summer. They need to cover this financially, while keeping rents affordable. So we're still talking about the height of future rents," says BIA director Robben. "On the other hand, this contract is definitely attractive for Vestide as well as for us so we should be able to work it out together."/.

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Holst Memorial Lecture
Philips Research Laboratories and TU/e are organising the 24th Holst Memorial Lecture for November 30. This year's lecture is by Dr. Rodney Allerness of Lucent Technologies, Holmdel, USA. Alferness will address the unprecedented growth of optical communications and emphasise the role of optical networks as one of the most important enabling technologies for the Internet and the future of communications. The lecture is entitled 'Optical Networks ­ Enabler of the Communication Revolution'. Dr. Alferness is a leading scientist in the field and has long-standing experience in integrated optics and optical networks. The memorial lecture will be preceded by a symposium entitled 'Ultimates in Communication', at which six leading scientists will present their views on future developments and speculate on 'ultimates' and new surprises in communications. Some 30 leading companies and research groups will be present with stands covering products, applications and results of current investigations in the field. The Holst lecture was first given in 1977 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Eindhoven University of Technology. Professor Giles Holst was the first director of Philips Research Laboratories and one of the founders of the university. The Holst lecture will be held on Thursday November 30 at 4.00 p.m. at TU/e in the main lecture room in the Auditorium. There will be ample time afterwards for questions and discussions. The symposium starts at 9.30 a.m. More information and registration (attendance is free but seating is limited): www.cobra.tue.nl.

Limbopad Closed
for Two Years

The Limbopad, the footpath from Eindhoven central station to campus will be closed as of Tuesday November 28 in connection with construction for Kennispoort. This building will arise on what is now Limbopad. Pedestrians will be re-routed. The building will be completed by the summer of 2002. The Limbopad will be re-opened then on a slightly different route.

Humble Farmer
Visits TU/e

American comedian and media personality Robert Skoglund, alias the 'Humble Farmer', has been invited to regale the TU/e foreign population and anyone else interested with his special brand of humour on Tuesday November 28 in the Van Trierzaal. 'Humble' hopes to pack the house, so be sure to come at noon sharp to get your full hour of laughs. Robert Skoglund lives in St. George, Maine, but relocates to Florida when it gets cold. He also likes to travel, and became especially interested in the Netherlands when he found out about lucrative health insurance benefits. He says he married a Dutch woman for this reason nine years ago Another reason the Netherlands caught his attention was because of a newspaper report about police confiscating a truckload of hardware (including screwdrivers, knives tear gas and an axe) at a disco called 'The Fun Factory' in Zaandam. Humble's has weekly radio and television shows in Midcoast Maine. BIA (Bureau of International Activities) thought TU/e staff and students should get the benefit of Skoglund's insights and booked him for a Studium Generale lecture.

Den Dolech Closed
Den Dolech, the part of TU/e from the main building to Kennedylaan is to closed from Monday November 27 until Christmas in connection with works to widen the road. This will become the new main entrance to TU/e campus. There will be three lanes; one for entry from the Kennedylaan and two to turn off left or right from campus.

People Mover
Travelling to TU/e is going to be fun in future. After arriving at Eindhoven's central station, it will be possible to transfer to a new form of transport: the People Mover. The system will transport students, staff and visitors to campus. TU/e has been chosen by the project group 'Vervoerssysteem van de Toekomst' (or future traffic systems) as a good testing area for this kind of innovative transport. A study will be set-up soon to see if the plans are feasible, to be paid for by TU/e, the city of Eindhoven and the province of Noord-Brabant. If the plans go through, we will have a People Mover in two years time.

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