Promo video for Yantai campus

The RUG has published the first promotional video about the prospective campus in the Chinese city of Yantai.

With the video, the university wants to show its employees and students what Yantai and the area surrounding the campus look like. ‘People imagine a lot of things, but almost no one has actually been to Yantai. People think of Beijing and grey skies, but the reality is very different’, says university president Sibrand Poppema.

The promotional video was shot by marketing agency Sensu in September, in collaboration with the RUG’s communications department. ‘We shot for three and a half days which resulted in approximately six hours of footage. This is a first video, and lasts approximately four minutes’, RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens says.

More videos

The footage will soon be used to make more videos about the campus in Yantai. They are part of a campaign to recruit employees and students for the branch campus. ‘We will be making a video about the city and the campus, in which we’ll also show an animation about which buildings still need to be built or changed’, says Deekens.

They says that they do not know how much the video cost to make. ‘But this video, just as the preparatory work for the campus, has been paid with private funds’, says Poppema.

Decision in April

The memorandum of understanding drawn up by the RUG, which expands upon the agreement the university signed together with the city of Yantai and China Agricultural University, has been approved by the University Supervisory Board. The document was sent to China on Monday. As soon as the agreement has been translated into Chinese, it will be sent to the province of Shandong for approval, and then on to the Chinese Ministry of Education. The Ministry is expected to approve the agreement in March, after which the RUG will be able to definitely decide in April whether to start the campus.

‘If they agree, we will proceed. Should they send it back with any particular conditions, we’ll say: ‘not like that’. We are assuming they’ll agree, but you can never be sure’, says Poppema.

Business interest

In the meantime, the RUG president has asked five Dutch businesses if they want to help pay for the campus. Companies that invest in Yantai will be allowed to influence the research done there. ‘Three businesses have said they’ll participate, including Unilever and Friesland Campina. Two other businesses are very enthusiastic’, according to Poppema. ‘The businesses are very interested in the people we will be educating there, people who know both Chinese and western culture and were educated in a western style. I was surprised by how ‘easy’ it all was. But I do realise now that we are doing something very different in China than we are here. Here, we are one of 200 universities they can collaborate with. There, we are the only continental European branch campus, and the only one with large research facilities.’

‘Neither for nor against’

The faculties of Economics and Business (FEB) and Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMNS) are tasked with preparing the educational curriculum for the Yantai campus.

The FEB faculty council recently sent a letter to the University Council, in which they wrote that there criticism of the plans were not accurately reflected in the media. ‘The Yantai discussion is dominated more and more by a terminology of for-or-against. We think it’s a shame the issue is presented so black and white. We want to make it clear that we have never been ‘Yantai fanatics’, nor ‘dogmatic opponents,’ says the faculty council.