Research on studentification has unpacked the spatial, economic, and social impacts that are associated with the growing presence of students in cities. Nonetheless, considerably less attention has been paid to the broader regional and national contexts that shape studentification. Using the case study of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, we argue that the studentification of the city should be understood within its context as the periphery of the country. Despite the university's central location and its involvement in revitalization efforts in the region, Ben-Gurion University is surrounded by marginalized neighborhoods which have turned into a ``student bubble''. We show that the segregation between the campus and the city results from a vicious cycle that reproduces the city's poor image and disrupts the university's attempts to advance the city and region. Although overlooked by policy-makers, the implications of this cycle reach far beyond the campus' surrounding and affect the city and to some extent the whole region.
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The authors thank the graduate students who participated in the Studentification seminar in the Department of Geography and Environmental Development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 2011: Lili Friedler, Oz Israel, Doron Kademiel, Chen Naor, Hagai Sella, Yuval Sahchar, and Eli Yegana. We acknowledge their great contribution to the research design, data collection, and analysis. We also thank Ben-Gurion University Student Union and Matan Sa'ad, who shared with us the survey they conducted; our interviewees for providing us meaningful insights; and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
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