The medical faculty won’t receive new Saudi students this year, and that’s messing with the budget

Even though the number of international first-years coming to Groningen once again increased this year, the medical faculty will not be getting any new students from Saudi Arabia. The faculty is therefore missing out on approximately a million euros in income, this year and in the years to come.

The pandemic had made it impossible for students from Saudi Arabia to come to Groningen last year, and they’re also staying home this year. According to the explainer for the medical faculty’s budget, this is ‘the result of a revision of the scholarship programme in Saudi Arabia, as well as a result of Covid-19’.

The decision is a financial setback for the university. The UG will be missing out on 32,000 euros per student. This income had been included in earlier budgets. The UG has had a deal in place to train future doctors here with the King Faisal University since 2010. Every year, the university receives fifteen to twenty students.

Two million euros

The deal resulted in 480,000 to 640,000 euros a year for the university for each batch. The entire programme (bachelor and master) takes seven years. Now that the university is missing out on two batches of students, that means an annual lack of income of approximately a million euros.

The Saudi university still has to determine what the revision of the scholarship programme means exactly. ‘But it doesn’t mean we won’t have any Saudi students ever again’, says Gerda Croiset, dean of the medical faculty.

UMCG spokesperson Lex Kloosterman says the fact that one of the learning profiles in the medical bachelor was changed from an English-language to a Dutch-language programme last year has nothing to do with this.



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