Study Centre coming to Zernike
Fiorella Brustolin, policy advisor international relations at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, confirms that the plans are moving forward. ‘It is definitely happening, but the paperwork still has to be officially signed’, she says.
The first cohort at the Groningen-based centre will likely consist of at least 50 students who will eventually go on to study science and engineering at the RUG, according to Brustolin. ‘Students who will move on to the Faculty of Economics and Business will be added next year, but that will be a larger group’, Brustolin says.
Plans for the development of a second branch, whose parent company is the British-based Study Group, were initially made known in January of 2015. ‘Until the end of last month, we still didn’t know where exactly the facilities would be located’, Brustolin says. The original idea was to offer classes in a building belonging to the university, but the ultimate location will be the building currently housing Brasserie Zernike at Zernikepark 4 once a rental contract is signed for the property.
The Holland International Study Centre, located in Amsterdam, is a facility for non-EU students to prepare for entering Dutch bachelor and master programmes through an international foundation year which cost 16,480 euros in tuition fees.
Stephen Orme, head of the Amsterdam branch, should be putting pen to paper in early June for the building on the Zernike campus where the preparatory year courses will be taught. ‘We’ve got the backing of the university and Study Group’, Orme says. ‘Now, we have already moved on to recruiting staff to the Groningen location.’ The Groningen branch is hiring a location manager, several support staffers and a to-be-determined number of teaching staff.
As for housing, The Student Hotel in the Ebbinge quarter, which is nearing completion, will be where the students call home during their pre-RUG year. The building, which contains 365 rooms, will also be utilised for PhD candidates and visiting scholars in Groningen.
The RUG and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences both have existing contracts with the Amsterdam location for students to flow into certain bachelor and master programmes. Students in the economics and business track with remain in Amsterdam for the first year, as will students who move on to the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
The institute expects to have roughly 300 students in total between the two locations next year. Orme concedes that the timing is fairly tight, ‘but we’re used to being flexible and we can move very quickly if we need to.’