Eleventh faculty negotiations speeding up

A decision about pursuing an eleventh faculty of the RUG in Leeuwarden may be made within weeks. A report about the viability of the RUG’s plans has been completed ahead of schedule.

According to the Leeuwarder Courant, negotiations among the province of Friesland, the municipality of Leeuwarden and the University of Groningen about a RUG faculty in Friesland could be completed in the coming weeks.

The increased tempo is partially due to the early completion of a report by Gerrit de Jong. CDA representative Sander de Rouwe announced in June that De Jong, a former member of the Court of Audit, would conduct an independent analysis of the viability of the RUG’s proposal for an eleventh faculty in Leeuwarden. The report was scheduled for completion by the end of August, but it was ready ahead of schedule.

De Rouwe, who is responsible for the Knowledge and Education portfolio in the Provincial Executive Council, commissioned the report this summer. He sounds cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the negotiations based on De Jong’s findings.

‘Positive yet critical’

‘It’s fair to say that it’s a positive yet critical report’, De Rouwe says. ‘De Jong looked through all the figures and documents that we had access to in the province, and we will use his recommendations in the negotiations.’

The proposal for an eleventh faculty was announced earlier this year, with the goal of eventually incorporating the existing University Campus Fryslan, which offers master’s programmes, and eventually developing a second University College for the RUG for bachelor students.

Currently, the province of Friesland is expected to contribute between 20 and 25 million euros for a period of ten years for the eleventh faculty, and the RUG may be asked to accept the risk for an equal amount of funding if the faculty is not financially sound after that time.