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No return of the UU student card, but a discount on international card


This year UU students can get the ISIC card for 5 euros. Normally, the hard copy of the international student card costs 15 euros. The card is well-known all over the world and often grants students a student discount, for example in museums.

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With this, the University hopes to meet the objections many students in Utrecht had against the digital student card the UU launched last year. According to the students, the digital card, which can be shown on mobile phones, were often not accepted in other countries as proof of registration at a university.

With the ISIC card, cardholders receive additional discounts at hotels and other catering facilities, as well as at car rental companies, language courses and other companies and organisations. For the moment, this is only a one year trial. Students received an email last Monday with a link to order the ISIC card.

Digital card led to protests
Last year, the University decided to abolish the physical student card. The University wanted to cut back on the costs and help the environment. As an alternative, a digital student card was included in the MyUU app. In the future, the University also wants to look at the options of implementing the Olympos sports card and the UB-pass in the app as well.

The digital card led to protests from students. Not only did students in Utrecht miss out on discounts in foreign countries, but they were forced to bring a charged smartphone with them at all times as well. Members of the university council therefore advocated for the development of a multifunctional hard copy card for all university services. Such a card would also contribute to a collective ‘UU-feeling’.

After lengthy insistence by the University Council, the Executive Board had decided, shortly before the summer, to introduce an ‘opt-in’ system for a physical student card. It appears now that this decision does not lead to the reintroduction of a UU student card, but rather to the ISIC card discount. This discount will not cost the UU any money.

Satisfied for the time being
Jonathan Steinebach, last year’s student member of the University Council, says that students are satisfied with this outcome “for now”. “They can at least prove that they are students now with a card that is recognized everywhere. In addition, they get all kinds of extra benefits.”

Steinebach acknowledges that the Executive Board is not meeting the demand for a multifunctional physical card of the University itself yet. Therefore, the former student member hopes that the University will bring the ISIC card discount to the attention of the students and not limit it to the one-year trial period. In evaluating this trial period, the digitalisation plans for the sports and library card must also be included. “If it turns out that many students would indeed like three physical cards, it would be obvious to offer one card in which encompasses all of these services.”


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