High inflation and the rising costs of construction and energy will also have an impact on the university, the board of directors warns. Future building projects may be affected.
Where and to what extent the UG will feel the pinch, board president Jouke de Vries does not yet know. Nevertheless, he wanted to give the university council a ‘preliminary warning’, he said on Thursday. ‘Inflation is rising worldwide, production chains are under pressure and construction costs are going through the roof.’
The university has big projects on the agenda. ‘That’s all very well, but we have to keep a very close eye on whether we can still do that in the context of this raging inflation.’
Moreover, the university has to close a new energy contract this year. In a previous committee meeting, board member Hans Biemans announced that he wanted to initiate the tender for this before the summer. But due to the enormous increase in energy prices, this contract could also cost much more than the university had anticipated.
During the Covid period, the university was able to make significant progress on its construction and renovation projects. The area around the Duisenberg pond on the Zernike Campus has been renovated and the finishing touches are now being put on the new Feringa Building.
In the city centre, the building on the Muurstraat is being renovated, work has started on the conversion of the old public library for the Faculty of Law, and a new building is being constructed on the northern side of the UMCG.
At the same time, Zernike is also the site of a plan for a brand-new sports centre, the construction of which has not yet started. Plans are also being drawn up for the renovation of the Harmonie complex in the city centre, and the faculties of BSS, arts and law would also like to see a brand new educational building erected in the city centre.
Which projects might be in jeopardy is as yet unclear. ‘It may mean that we have to have a fundamental discussion about what the consequences might be’, said De Vries.