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CampusKey, the South African developer of student housing complexes, focuses on expanding their successful housing formula to Europe. With approximately 4000 universities & higher educational institutes and a growing number of international students throughout Europe, the market outlook looks highly promising. The office is set up at PLNT, the incubator for start-ups in Leiden, where CampusKey will be close to innovations that can potentially be included in their student housing concepts. From here, they shall also act as a bridge to the start-up community located in their facilities in South Africa.

F.L.T.R. Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments InnovationQuarter, Chris Heunis, Managing Director CampusKey Europe, Paul Dirkse, Deputy Mayor of Leiden, Leon Howell, Managing Director CampusKey SA, Neno Haasbroek, Co-Founder CampusKey, Niels Krol, Account Manager InnovationQuarter, Antoin van Rensburg, Co-Founder CampusKey (Foto © Daniel Verkijk)

Expanding to Europe

Since the start of CampusKey in 2012, they have successfully developed student housing facilities in six university cities and currently house 3749 students. Their main focus will be on international students and the concept therefore includes a couple of distinctive features that sets this formula apart from others.

There is a strong focus on safety and security within the building, using finger recognition technology to enter the premises and rooms. They also offer 24-hour counselling and mentoring services to students who are in immediate need for help or guidance, far away from family and friends. The main purpose of CampusKey is to create ‘a home away from home’, which means activities for residents are organized on a weekly base, so students can meet up, interact and make new friends.

Leiden is not only relevant as a student city, but it also has quick access to Schiphol Airport, with the rest of Europe in easy reach.- Chris Heunis, Managing Director of CampusKey Europe

CampusKey was assisted in setting up the Dutch operations in Leiden by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, InnovationQuarter and the City of Leiden.

Team CampusKey: Chris Heunis, Leon Howell, Neno Haasbroek and Antoin van Rensburg (Foto © Daniel Verkijk)

CampusKey Co-Founder Neno Haasbroek: “As the South African market is now well served by our concept, we decided last year that it would be interesting to look into expanding to the European market. Our preliminary research was very promising and we believe there is a lot of potential in Europe, especially when you look at the tremendous increase of foreign students coming to Europe.”

Deputy Mayor of Leiden, Paul Dirkse is happy and proud that yet another South African company has chosen Leiden for the location of their European headquarters: “Being the oldest university city in The Netherlands and one of the oldest in Europe, I can fully understand their decision to locate to Leiden! I’m sure the expertise CampusKey has built up over the years in South Africa in creating ‘a home away from home’ will be of added value for students and student cities throughout Europe.”

Besides historical ties and a similar language, The Netherlands was especially chosen for its comparable business mentality, which is, like in South Africa, also based on cooperation, openness and straightforwardness, says Chris Heunis, Managing Director of CampusKey Europe: “Leiden is not only relevant as a student city, but it also has quick access to Schiphol Airport, with the rest of Europe in easy reach”.