RUG: Investigation into ‘Yantai hours’


The RUG will order an independent review of the hours university employees spent preparing for the failed branch campus project in the Chinese city of Yantai.
By Rob Siebelink / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The investigation is the result of a report filed in late August by student party DAG, which concluded that the RUG invested more time in Yantai than they officially reported. According to DAG, the university kept costs low by suppressing the number of ‘Yantai hours’ actually spent on the project.

‘DAG managed to uncover 98 cases of employees having been allocated insufficient hours or no hours at all for their work on the plans for the Chinese campus’, reads the student party’s investigation report.

Earlier, the university council also suspected that staff may have been pressured to not claim expenses for hours they worked preparing Yantai.


The RUG has always strongly denied these accusations. Nevertheless, the university announced on Tuesday that they have ordered a closer review. ‘We take the messages from our own university community about accounting for the hours seriously.’

‘That is why the RUG has ordered an investigation into whether any hours spent on preparations for the Yantai project should actually have been paid through the university’s private funds.’

The review has been formally ordered by the supervisory council, which is tasked with overseeing the board and the university’s management. The supervisory council must do it, says the RUG, because university council members have also worked hours on the project.


The investigation will be performed by Leendert Klaassen, acting mayor of the municipality of Westerwolde. Klaassen previously served as registrar for the Upper House and as president of the board of directors at Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

Klaassen wants to set up a hotline for RUG employees so they can report what truly happened.

The Inspectorate of Education will perform a separate investigation at the behest of the Ministry of Education. This investigation focuses on DAG’s accusation that the RUG used public funds for Yantai even though they weren’t allowed to.


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