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University Council blocks Guesthouse privatisation

Providing housing for foreign students should be considered a basic service by this university. The plan to hand over the Guesthouse to a commercial market party should therefore be carefully reconsidered.

This is what chairman of the University Council, Herman Kingma, said to the Executive Board on behalf of the council last Wednesday.

The Executive Board, however, together with the head of General and Technical Services, Eric Klekamp, feel that the Guesthouse facility is not part of the UM's core business. So outsourcing is an obvious solution, was Klekamp’s message to a council committee two weeks ago. But this committee is not in the least convinced of the usefulness of outsourcing. The recent example of the catering going to Albron does not inspire confidence.

Chairman Kingma said that the council wants to have a separate investigation - “out of the box” so not by the GTS department themselves - into the best solution for the Guesthouse.

The Executive Board announced through André Postema that they would proceed with the preparations for privatisation. Nonetheless the Executive Board appreciates “the University Council’s active role.”

This appreciation could diminish if the council implements its authority. According to Kingma, the council has “full right of approval” on this point and can therefore block the plan for outsourcing. The council has right of approval in matters that concern ‘the provision of student facilities’.

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