It looks as though money intended for the RUG didn’t actually end up with the university, or at least not directly; instead, it went to a foundation that is not connected to the university. The suspended RUG employees are involved with this foundation.
During an audit of a European RUG partner, doubts arose about how a joint international programme at the faculty was being financed, a spokesperson for the RUG said.
The RUG won’t say how much money is involved or what the foundation actually does. The university has commissioned an independent review of the situation. During this investigation, three employees involved with the foundation have been (partially) relieved of their duties.
Whether the case involves actual fraud hasn’t been confirmed yet. ‘We only just learned about it ourselves. We want to do a proper investigation first’, said RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens. The board of directors wants to hire an external agency to find out what happened.
Three years ago, a large fraud case rocked the RUG; the then manager of the RUG’s technical department turned out to have stolen 1.1 million euros from the university.
The judge sentenced the manager to three years in prison, with six months probation.