The AFSG decision means that Wageningen UR will end up in the red. ‘We already know that we’ll be in debt between 2012 and 2016’, explained executive board chairman Aalt Dijhuizen this morning in the Biotechnion.
Student numbers are not a big risk factor. The students are in the bag. The numbers of university students have been going up by ten percent a year for several years.
The second parameter is government cutbacks. These are certainly not planned for 2010, and the cabinet is still exploring where it can make cuts after that.
The biggest risk factor is related to making a profit on selling land. Kortenoord (the plot in the west of Wageningen with the Zodiac buildings) is now for sale. If the market is buoyant, it should fetch seventy million euros. But if the market gets a lot worse, so that Wageningen UR cannot sell Kortenoord, or only for a very low price, its solvency will go below the absolute minimum of 35 percent.
'We are taking this risk, on the assumption that there will continue to be a need to build houses', said Dijkhuizen. 'If you only see molehills ahead of you, you're sure to stumble anyway.'