The money is mainly being spent on staff, travel costs, and the hiring of external experts. Two years ago, the university decided to hire extra staff to prepare for the campus in China.
At the time, that was estimated to cost approximately 500,000 euros a year. This turned out to be much too low. In 2015, the costs rose to 756,000 euros a year. A year later, they had risen to 859,000, according to the manager report recently published by the RUG. For 2017, the costs up to September are estimated at 700,000 euros, university board member Jan de Jeu said before the summer. Put together, the total costs have risen to 2,315,000 euros.
The management report does not explain why the preparation costs increased the way they did. Spokespersons at the RUG were unavailable for comment.
The preparations are being paid for through private funds: revenue from face-to-face education and research, for example. The management report states that in 2016, the funds came from a donation made by the AOG foundation and dividend payment from UOCG Market.AOG is the RUG’s commercial division, offering training to managers and businesses. The same goes for UOCG, which markets the student information system Progress to educational institutes.
This summer, the faculty boards at Spatial Sciences and Science and Engineering green-lit the programmes that will be taught in Yantai starting in the autumn of 2018. At the end of this month, the plans for the campus will be presented for consent to the staff and students that make up the University Council.
The Board of Directors wants the councils to consent before the Lower House discusses the AMvB (governmental decree) that deals with the legal implementation of the foreign campus in September.
The RUG is in a hurry because they do not want the preparation costs, for which they are currently footing the bill themselves, to increase any further. After the University of Groningen Yantai (UGY) has been set up, the operations will be paid for by the institute in China.UGY will then pay the RUG for all the work that is being done directly and indirectly, both in Groningen and in China, on a monthly basis.