After the summer, the RUG will officially apply with the Ministry of Education to set up a branch campus in the Chinese city of Yantai. The application will be presented to the staff and students of the University Council in August, during the summer vacation, according to a memo which the Board of Directors will discuss with the Council on Thursday.
Prior to the application, the faculty councils have to give their consent in June or July for the programmes that the faculties will be offering in the autumn of 2018 in Yantai, the memo continues.
According to the plans, four bachelor programmes and two master programmes of the faculties of Science and Engineering (FSE) and Spatial Sciences (FSS) will be going to Yantai. It concerns the programmes chemistry, industrial engineering and management, life sciences and technology, mathematics, chemical engineering, and environmental and infrastructure planning.
In February, the students and staff of the University Council were unexpectedly given the right to consent by the Board of Directors, right before the Lower House was set to debate the legislative change needed to make the Yantai branch campus possible.
The Personnel Faction and student party Lijst Calimero wanted to make a public statement during a university council meeting about the lack of support for the Yantai plans among staff and students. But before they got the chance to do so, they were reigned in by RUG president Sibrand Poppema.
Plans for the future Yantai campus.
Poppema held a closed-door meeting with the parties and promised to give them the right to consent if they kept their planned statement under wraps for at least a week – until after the Lower House had discussed the legislative change. The parties agreed to this. ‘This shared right to consent has reinforced the importance of support’, the Personnel Faction explained at the time.
The university and the parties then sent a joint letter to minister Bussemaker about the right to consent the councils had been given. This letter was brought to bear during the Lower House debate.
The legislative change passed in February with a large majority. During the summer, the Lower House will discuss a AMvB (governmental decree) which regulates the implementation of the law.
In the meantime, the RUG has started an information campaign for staff and students about Yantai, in the hopes of gaining more support for the plans.
They have organised four meetings about the future campus, and in late May, a delegation of the faculties involved and the University Council will go to China to visit the area, on the RUG’s costs. The editor-in-chief at the Universiteitskrant will report on this work visit. He was invited by the Board of Directors.