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RUG signs agreement on funding of branch campus during state visit

2015/2016 registration figures confirm importance of internationalization
26 October 2015
Signing of the agreement in the presence of HM King of The Netherlands Willem Alexander and President of the Peoples Republic of China Xi Jinping. Copyright ANP

The University of Groningen (RUG) has reached an agreement with China Agricultural University (CAU) and the city of Yantai on the funding of the research facilities for its branch campus in Yantai. This agreement lays the financial foundation for the campus. The city of Yantai will cover the costs of the construction and equipment of the campus’s research facilities, as well as budget deficits for the first three years. The agreement was signed on Monday 26 October. King Willem-Alexander and the Chinese President Xi Jinping were among the attendees.

The new University of Groningen registration figures underline once again the importance of internationalization. In academic year 2015/2016, 10% fewer Dutch first-year students signed up for the propaedeutic phase, while the number of international students grew strongly. Nearly 30% of first-year students now come from abroad, and the total percentage of international students at the RUG has climbed to 15%. The total number of registrations rose slightly by 0.7% to 30,234.


Demographic research has predicted that the number of Dutch young people who will go university will continue to decline. To compensate for this, the University has concentrated for years on attracting international students. This is also one of the most important reasons behind the RUG’s plans to develop a branch campus in Yantai.

President of the Board of the University of Groningen Sibrand Poppema is happy with the agreement. ‘This is an important and essential step in realizing the plans for Yantai. The Dutch and Chinese education ministries have both approved the underlying budget. This means that the necessary research facilities can be realized, research-led teaching can be offered and top-level research can be initiated. That is what makes this branch campus stand out from others. It also allows us to realize our ambitions in the areas of entrepreneurship and sustainability on this campus. ’

Over the last few months several multinationals have expressed concrete interest in the RUG’s plans and allocated money for research.

Last modified:12 March 2020 9.46 p.m.
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