197 registered this year
Campus Fryslân not very popular among students yet
The province of Friesland, which has allocated almost 18 million euros for the campus, is asking for an explanation. The goal for the campus is to have a thousand students by 2023.
Campus Fryslân, the eleventh and youngest RUG faculty, has been running seven of the eleven planned programmes since 2018: six master programmes and a bachelor that was named top programme this year.
Plan of attack
The province wants a new plan of attack for the campus this month. Campus Fryslân spokesperson Engelien Reitsma says the new plan is in its final stages.
She also says it’s a matter of perception. ‘The number are definitely going in the right direction. The number of students in the bachelor has doubled, and we’re also on track for next year.’
Reitsma thinks that having a dedicated building in the Beursgebouw in Leeuwarden has contributed to this. The Beursgebouw officially opened its doors in November. ‘Prospective student can come and see what it’s like here, instead of only having a pamphlet.’
Because of the disappointing registration numbers, the province has paid out less than the promised 18 million euros. The rest of the funds will be deferred to the future. Reitsma says the subsidy isn’t just dependent on student numbers, though. ‘The subsidy also supports the research at the campus and all other activities we organise here.’
The plans state that the RUG will have to stay in Leeuwarden for at least fifteen years. During that time, the university is also financially responsible for any consequences of the low student numbers.
Reitsma says it’s difficult to determine why the numbers are so low. It might have to do with the campus’ late start due to the programmes still having to go through the accreditation process. This means recruitment also got a late start. ‘But what we’re doing, we’re doing well’, says Reitsma. ‘The board of directors has faith in us.’
Translation by Sarah van Steenderen