Three new neighbourhood campuses in Amsterdam

AUAS and OBA join forces

3 Feb 2021 09:44 | Communication

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) are joining forces to create Neighbourhood Campuses. These are physical places in OBA branches where Amsterdam residents from the neighbourhood can gather for development and to meet up with others. Together with students, lecturers and local partners, they look for sustainable solutions to relevant social and societal issues affecting the neighbourhood. A total of three Neighbourhood Campuses are set to open by the summer of 2021, the first of which has already been created in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district.

Three locations

The AUAS and the OBA have agreed to create three Neighbourhood Campuses in the 2020-2021 period. These campuses will be located in the Nieuw-West, Oost and Zuidoost districts. The Nieuw-West Neighbourhood Campus opened in September 2020. The activities organised in a Neighbourhood Campus are based on the wishes and needs of the people in the neighbourhood. This makes it possible to help residents in a targeted manner, and to strengthen the neighbourhood and link existing networks together.

Neighbourhood Campus Concept

In Amsterdam, there is a great need for local public spaces that offer a promising perspective for residents to stay informed. It is very important that everyone can continue to be involved in the city and be successful participants in society. This includes promoting digital and non-digital literacy and providing opportunities to learn or exchange knowledge. For example, Social Work, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology students help parents with homework support for their children through The Kitchen Table (De Keukentafel) programme. And this also involves strengthening or contributing to the vitality and sustainability of the neighbourhood in a more general sense. The combination of the AUAS and the OBA in the Neighbourhood Campus fits in with this seamlessly by bringing the best of both parties together.

Students at the Zuidoost Neighbourhood Campus

Wide range of programmes on offer

The Neighbourhood Campus combines existing programmes and activities of the OBA and the AUAS. The offerings are diverse, ranging from gatherings, events and presentations to workshops and training courses, consultation hours and guidance for help requests, and networking activities. Importantly, space is also provided to develop new programmes and products in conjunction with residents and neighbourhood partners. The AUAS aims to implement education, projects and research from all faculties in the Neighbourhood Campus and contribute to pressing local issues. By using its branches as a neighbourhood platform, the OBA wants to become a link connecting social organisations and other parties that are also involved in enabling Amsterdam’s residents to learn and live together.

The formal signing of the cooperation agreement by both parties took place on Monday, 1 February 2021 at OBA Oosterdok. The Neighbourhood Campuses will host a kick-off meeting (online) for each neighbourhood in the near future. Are you interested in attending or would you like more information about the Neighbourhood Campus initiative? Please send an email to

‘Neighbourhood Campus’ (Buurtcampus) is a further development of the ‘Neighbourhood Shop for Education, Research and Talent Development’ (Buurtwinkel voor Onderwijs, Onderzoek en Talentontwikkeling, BOOT), which AUAS has provided since 2009. Through sustainable cooperation with the OBA and the development of multiple locations, the AUAS aims to put its education and research to even better use for Amsterdam’s residents.

Cooperation agreement signed by Jean Tillie (AUAS) and Martin Berendse (OBA) on 1 February 2021.