A Saudi university pays money to Dutch scientists |  internal

A Saudi university pays money to Dutch scientists | internal

King Saud University of Saudi Arabia is approaching top scholars around the world with lucrative offers. The goal: to increase their place in the rankings of major universities. In the Netherlands, two scientists responded, according to research they conducted De Volkskrant.

According to the newspaper, many professors in our country at King Saud University in Riyadh have offered tens of thousands of euros annually for cooperation in recent years. Then they had to change the institute in which they mainly work to King Saud University. Moreover, the intention was that this university would be mentioned in a few publications a year.

Attracting top international scholars improves the international reputation of the controversial Saudi regime De Volkskrant as a cause, and it happens frequently all over the world. The country is also trying to attract international stars in other fields, such as sports.

According to the newspaper, Vincenzo Fogliano, a professor of food technologies at Wageningen University and Research (WUR), incorrectly listed King Saud University as the first employer from 2018 to 2020. As a result, it rose in the ranking of the best universities in the world. Reverse De Volkskrant Fogliano confirmed that he had listed King Saud University as his main employee after a deal with the Saudi institution. Fogliano told the newspaper that WUR gave permission for the deal.


To say the least, such a prestigious appointment with a Saudi institution is abrasive, says Professor Emeritus Teun Bokhut, who specializes in mycology. However, he also changed his main employer to King Saud University last year, after declining an earlier offer. Bukhut says he can accept the second offer because he has just retired.

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Boekhout does not want to say what the exact terms of the agreement were. However, he is now personally receiving “big money”. He could also pursue his research project after his retirement, which would otherwise not have been possible.

The institute where the professor worked until his retirement, which is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), says it has no problem with building — researchers often continue to work after they retire, according to the spokesperson.

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has launched an investigation into its own professor. Volkskrant He contacted KSU via email, but did not receive a response.

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