Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Exploring the Experienced Impact of Studentification on Ageing-in-Place

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 4238 | Downloads: 3328

Abstract:  In this qualitative study we explore the experienced impact of studentification on ageing-in-place (i.e., ageing in one’s own home and neighbourhood for as long as possible). Studentification, which refers to concentrations of students in residential neighbourhoods, has been associated with deteriorating community cohesion by several authors. This can negatively affect existing neighbourhood support structures. In examining this topic, we draw on in-depth interviews with 23 independently living older adults (65+) which were conducted in a studentified urban neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Our results show how the influx of students in the neighbourhood negatively affected older adults’ feelings of residential comfort. In spite of this, none of the participants expressed the desire to move; they experienced a sense of familiarity and valued the proximity of shops, public transport and health services, which allowed them to live independently. To retain a sense of residential mastery, our participants dealt with negative impacts of studentification, at least in part, by drawing on accommodative coping strategies that weigh in broader experiences of physical and social neighbourhood change. In doing so, they rationalised and reassessed their negative experiences resulting from studentification. We discuss the implications of our findings for the development of age-friendly neighbourhoods.

Keywords:  ageing-in-place; age-friendly neighbourhoods; qualitative research; studentification; The Netherlands; urban ageing



© Debbie Lager, Bettina van Hoven. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.