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University returns to Fryslân after two hundred years

University Campus Fryslân becomes eleventh faculty of the University of Groningen
24 January 2015

University education is returning to Fryslân. The University Campus Fryslân (UCF) is officially set to become the eleventh faculty of the University of Groningen. 1 May 2015 will see Prof. Jouke de Vries taking office as the first Dean of the Faculty, which will be named University of Groningen/Campus Fryslân.

RUG president prof. Sibrand Poppema, Member of the Provincial Executive of Fryslân, Jannewietske de Vries and Dean of UCF prof. Jouke de Vries
RUG president prof. Sibrand Poppema, Member of the Provincial Executive of Fryslân, Jannewietske de Vries and Dean of UCF prof. Jouke de Vries

Member of the Provincial Executive of Fryslân, Jannewietske de Vries, and President of the Board of the University of Groningen, Prof. Sibrand Poppema, presented their plans in Leeuwarden on Friday 23 January. Poppema is pleased with the collaboration in Fryslân: ‘We want to boost our position as the “University of the North” by joining forces with the universities of applied sciences in Leeuwarden to capitalize on the existing infrastructure here in the region. This will also provide the north with a stable, sustainable knowledge infrastructure. We are investing in knowledge and jobs. This will strengthen our ties with the region, and secure us more Master’s students and research.’

Jannewietske de Vries: ‘Fryslân is finally getting a university again. This is great news for the region, two hundred years after the closure of the University of Franeker. It’s important that people can study here at every level. Everyone in Fryslân, from toddlers to PhD students, should feel at home and be able to develop their potential. It represents an upgrade for the province. We are a breeding ground for knowledge and innovation, and a university should be part of this.’

‘Universities in the region are becoming increasingly active,’ says Jouke de Vries. ‘I see this as a fantastic opportunity to create an eleventh faculty for the University of Groningen here in Leeuwarden. It will be a world-class university with strong regional ties. The programmes will be devised in close consultation and cooperation with the universities of applied sciences in Leeuwarden, the business sector, government bodies and other knowledge institutes.’

Master’s programmes

The University of Groningen wants the UCF to teach Master’s degree programmes that are relevant to Fryslân. A total of five to ten new programmes will be offered, attracting several hundred students to Leeuwarden. A number of Master’s programmes are already available in Leeuwarden, with the University of Groningen providing the Master’s in Multilingualism.

University College Fryslân

But realizing new Master’s programmes is not the only priority. An international residential University College is also planned in Leeuwarden. The University College will offer a broad-based three-year Bachelor’s programme in the field of Politics, Philosophy, Psychology and Economics. Students will live and study on the campus. The University College is eventually expected to provide places for some 600 students.

University Campus Fryslân in Leeuwarden
University Campus Fryslân in Leeuwarden

University Campus Fryslân

UCF was started in 2011 with funding from the province of Fryslân and the municipality of Leeuwarden. The aim is to strengthen the ties between the universities, Frisian teaching and research institutes, socio-cultural organizations and businesses operating in the region. This will boost the knowledge infrastructure and economy, and enhance Leeuwarden’s position as a thriving city for knowledge and students. The focus areas are water, energy, life sciences, tourism, multilingualism, sustainable society, technology and governance.
Prof. Jouke de Vries
Prof. Jouke de Vries

Prof. Jouke de Vries

Jouke de Vries (1960) studied political science at UvA University of Amsterdam, specializing in public administration. He was awarded a PhD in 1989 for a thesis about land reform policies and Cabinet crises, entitled Grondpolitiek en kabinetscrises. In 1999, De Vries was appointed professor of public administration and scientific director of the satellite of Leiden University in The Hague. Over a period of 15 years, the Hague satellite or Haagse Vestiging evolved into Leiden University College The Hague. LUC The Hague offers three important undergraduate programmes: public administration, international studies and a broad-based liberal arts and sciences programme. He also developed a graduate school with a wide range of Master’s programmes and a PhD school. De Vries is a founding father of LUC The Hague and was co-founder of the Institute of Global Justice.
Last modified:19 March 2020 2.03 p.m.
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