Radboud University: New service point for international talent in the region

From September 2022, international knowledge workers and international students in the Arnhem-Nijmegen-Wageningen region will receive additional government and private support for matters that they need to arrange in order to live and work here for a longer period of time. This will make the region more attractive for them to live in and helps us work towards a stronger economy. Together with the municipality of Nijmegen, Radboud University will staff and set up the information point on campus that will welcome international knowledge workers and talents and provide with guidance for matters like staying, working, learning, and living in the region.

The Lifeport Welcome Center for expats and international students — named after Lifeport(verwijst naar een andere website): the innovation network around Arnhem, Nijmegen and Wageningen — will be housed at Huize Heyendael on the Radboud campus in Nijmegen and will become one central point where international knowledge workers, students, and their family members can go for government services, private services (such as a welcome programme and “family support” programme), and social activities. Here they will receive information about health insurance, bank accounts, and a welcome package.

In time, services such as support in finding housing, tax advice, insurance, and various training courses, may also be offered. The Lifeport Welcome Center will initially start for a period of 2 years.

Daniël Wigboldus, president of the Executive Board of Radboud University and member of The Economic Board: “As a university, we think it is important to join forces with the municipality of Nijmegen, the province, the HAN University of Applied Sciences, and all other Lifeport partners to attract the necessary international talent to the region and keep them here.”

Regional initiative
Lifeport Welcome Center is an initiative of The Economic Board and the province of Gelderland based on the regional desire to attract and retain more international talent for the region. The project is being financed by Radboud University, the Province of Gelderland, the HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Economic Board and a number of private parties that offer services for a fee (banks, insurers, brokers, etc.), and companies and institutions in the region that use the Welcome Center’s services. Peter Kerris, representative for the Province of Gelderland: “With the Lifeport Welcome Center we are opening the door to international talent who want to work or study in Gelderland. We need as much as talent as possible to close the gaps in the labour market and to achieve our social goals for housing, energy transition, and the economy.”

In addition to the Lifeport Welcome Center, the Province of Gelderland has also awarded the existing Expat Center Foodvalley in Wageningen a grant for 2 years to share knowledge and develop joint programmes so that the entire region is served.

Business climate
It is very important for the regional knowledge economy to attract and retain talent in order to further strengthen the regional innovation network Lifeport. Alderman Monique Esselbrugge (Municipality of Nijmegen): “It is very important for Nijmegen as a knowledge city to attract and retain talent. For a lot of specialist work, there has not been enough staff within our national borders for quite some time. By bringing these specialists from abroad to our region and keeping them here, our city and the entire region will become even more attractive for international companies that are looking for staff. The arrival of new companies therefore also creates new employment opportunities and a stronger economy.”

A central service point where international students and knowledge workers and their relatives are better served will contribute to this.