Are we going to China or not?
The request to start the campus in Yantai has already been approved by the province of Shandong, but the plans are still waiting on a green light from the Chinese ministry of education. ‘We estimate that we will hear from them at some point in July or August’, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens.
Once the ministry’s decision is made known, the university will be able to definitively decide whether or not to set up the campus. Both the members of the board of the RUG and the board of China Agricultural University (CAU) must still provide additional information to a commission for the Chinese ministry.
‘You never know for sure’
RUG president Sibrand Poppema expects to hear from the ministry once that step has transpired. ‘If they accept it as is, we will move forward. And if they return it with certain conditions attached, we will say, ‘not like this.’ We are assuming that they will approve of it as is, but you never know for sure.’
On the Dutch end, the law has to change in order for the Yantai venture to proceed. The Dutch ministry of education, together with the RUG, will draft a general order of council to that end. It is likely that the legal decision will be finalised in September.