Yantai decision postponed again
The request to start the campus was already approved by the province of Shandong. The RUG is now awaiting the green light from the Chinese Ministry of Education.
The ministry was expected to give its approval for the sister campus in March, but the application was only submitted to the ministry on April 1 due to a delay.
‘The process is expected to take 45 days at most, so that means that we should have a response by the end of May or early June’, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens. Once the ministry has made its decision, the university will definitively decide whether to pursue the campus.
The application is crucial because the Chinese government must approve of the plans. In its request, the RUG is seeking a guarantee of academic freedom for its programmes and research, free access to information and the Internet on campus and quality assurance of the programmes in keeping with Dutch norms, among other things. Requirements for the leadership structure of the university are also included.
‘If they approve it, we will be moving forward. But if it comes back with certain conditions attached, we will tell them, ‘not like this.’ We assume they will consent to it, but you never know for sure’, RUG president Sibrand Poppema stated previously.
In the mean time, work is going on behind the scenes on the lay out and interior of the future education and research buildings on the campus. This month, architects from China will come to Groningen to visit the faculties set to contribute to the campus – Mathematics & Natural Sciences, UMCG and Spatial Sciences – to discuss what facilities they will need in Yantai and to present the initial designs for the buildings.