Starting September 2018, the first lectures at Radboud University will start at 08.30. Students at HAN university of applied sciences get to lie in their beds 15 minutes longer from then on. Unfair? Tough luck. Big data research proves the advantages of this measure.
It is a known fact: most students are night owls. For many of them, it will be no fun that starting September, the morning lectures at Radboud University will start at 08.30. Rector Han van Krieken announced this during the participation meeting on Monday.
There goes your 15 minutes of snoozing. But you do get something in return. The new starting times at Radboud University (08.30) and HAN (probably 09.00, but that has not been decided yet) are supposed to make rush hour less crowded. Before, both institutions started their day at 08.45, with crowded roads, train stations and busses as a result. This is about to change.
The change in lecture time is a well-considered choice. It is based on a big data research project, done by a project group in which the transport companies (NS, Connexion, Arriva, ProRail) are represented, institutions (ROC, HAN, RU, Hospital) and the government are represented. This group studied students’ travel behaviour and found that it was best to spread the pressure on out traffic system. ‘We have looked at all options’, says Carlo Buise, who took part in the group on behalf of Radboud’s Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental Service. It is not clear yet what will happen to the other lecture times of the day.
According to Buise, Nijmegen is the first city that changes its lecture times based on research. Logistically, the change will not generate any problems, says Buise. ‘We have to switch the heating on a little bit earlier, switch off the lights a little earlier and bus line 10 have to start driving ten minutes earlier. These are not very big changes.’