Frisian parties promise funding for RUG branch

Two political parties in Friesland – PvdA and FNP – want to allocate millions of euros to the development of the eleventh faculty. But it all depends on whether or not they remain in the coalition after provincial elections on Wednesday

PvdA – the Labour party – wants to earmark 25 million euros for the project, according to Frisian party leader Jannewietske de Vries in an interview with the Leeuwarder Courant last Thursday. The FNP – the Frisian National Party – has called for setting aside 20 million euros from the budget. PvdA and FNP currently sit in the coalition government in Friesland, and provincial elections will be held on Wednesday.

In January, plans were announced to add a second University College in Friesland to the University Campus Fryslân. UCF is an institution in Leeuwarden where master classes are taught. Eventually, UCF and the second University College will form an eleventh faculty of the RUG in Friesland.

Phase two

A crucial part of those plans is the creation of a fund of 100 million euros to finance the proposed ten master programmes at UCF.

According to the Leeuwarder Courant, other political parties, including CDA and VVD – Christian Democracy in Action and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy – have not yet made any similar proposals about how the budget should be divided and what funds should go toward development of UCF.

The money would be used in phase two of the plans for the University Campus Fryslan, which received 16 million euros for phase one. Of that, 14 million came from the province of Friesland and 2 million came from the municipality of Leeuwarden. Phase one will be ending this year.

UPDATE: According to RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens, PvdA and FNP made the budget proposals independently, not together. The funding proposals would therefore not be combined, but either 20 million or 25 million euros would be set aside. Furthermore, the funding would be allocated to the second University College, not to UCF. ‘The 100 million euro fund for UCF will be paid for from private groups, not out of government coffers.’