Board optimistic about Yantai, but damage claims still an option

The board of directors is ‘fairly optimistic’ about how the Yantai project has been settled. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any damage claims.
By Rob Siebelink / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The city of Yantai and the province of Shandong have coughed up quite a bit of money over the past few years to renovate the outdated Chinese Agricultural University (CAU) campus in Yantai to ensure the RUG could have its branch campus there. But the university council put an end to the project last year.

China has made 160 million euro available for a new research facility and a data centre. The lecture halls, the plumbing, the main building, the cafeterias, the athletic facilities, and the student accommodations also needed renovating and updating.


Most of these renovations were carried out. The RUG was therefore worried that they’d be hit with damage claims when the board was forced to withdraw the plans for the project in January of last year.

Board president Jouke de Vries visited China recently and spoke to the president of the CAU in Beijing. On Thursday, De Vries told the university council that it had been a good meeting. ‘It was very positive. But it could have gone differently’, he said.


In spite of the positive vibes during the meeting, China might still claim damages. De Vries has a meeting with the city of Yantai and the province of Shandong, the main ‘creditors’, in May.

The fact that the Yantai project has been cancelled doesn’t mean that the RUG’s business with China is finished. ‘We’re gradually ending our collaboration on transnational education. But we will continue to work together and develop other projects. Not in Yantai, but either in Beijing or with other universities.’


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