A loan of €230 million to the VU University Campus in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is the largest ever by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to a university.

The 20-year loan is for the construction of new buildings and development of the VU University Amsterdam campus. It is also the EIB’s first engagement with the higher education sector in the Netherlands.

Existing buildings will be replaced, with new teaching and research faculties built alongside redevelopment of the main campus building.

Pim van Ballekom, EIB vice president responsible for the Netherlands, said, “Investment in higher education and research, in both the Netherlands and across Europe, is essential for future generations of students. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the campus redevelopment scheme at VU University and is committed to helping to improve innovation and skills in the Netherlands.”

René Smit, chairman of the supervisory board of VU University Amsterdam, said, “We are pleased that the European Investment Bank has decided to provide half of the necessary investment to support the university. The rest of the investment will be provided by the VU University itself.”

Replacement and upgrading campus buildings dating from the 1960s and 1970s will include new research and teaching buildings which it is said will be better suited to the needs of modern higher education.

Works to redevelop the campus started last year and the first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Over the last five years, the EIB, Europe’s long-term lending institution, has provided more than €7.3 billion for infrastructure investment and small businesses in the Netherlands.

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