EIB invests €35.4 million in UMF Iasi for campus modernization and expansion

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has allocated €35.4 million to Romania’s Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi (UMF Iasi) for a comprehensive refurbishment and expansion of its campus infrastructure. This marks UMF Iasi’s inaugural external loan and represents the EIB’s first initiative under a €200 million program aimed at enhancing higher education across Romania, according to devdiscourse.com.

The loan agreement was formalized at a ceremony held at UMF Iasi’s campus in Iasi, attended by Professor Dr. Viorel Scripcariu, Rector of UMF Iasi, and Manuel Dueñas, Head of Public Sector Lending for Central and Southeastern Europe at the EIB, alongside guests and journalists.

Since 2019, the EIB has extended financial support to five other Romanian universities totaling €125 million, aimed at improving educational quality and student welfare.

“We are honored to welcome UMF Iasi, an institution with a distinguished reputation and heritage, to our roster of supported universities across Europe,” commented EIB Vice-President Ioannis Tsakiris. “Our commitment remains steadfast in directing resources towards fostering high skills and higher education, essential for cultivating a smart, green, and sustainable economy, thereby supporting Romania’s development. The dividends from investing in education, particularly in university education, are profound. Highly skilled graduates are pivotal for societal advancement and economic prosperity.”

Romanian medical universities, in particular, aspire to align with their European counterparts in both academic programs and research endeavors. EIB financing empowers Romanian universities to undertake critical investments in educational and research infrastructure. Currently, the EIB is supporting the Medicine University of Bucharest and the Medicine University of Targu Mureș, alongside campus development initiatives at Politehnica University of Bucharest, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.

Rector Scripcariu expressed gratitude for the loan, highlighting its significance as an endorsement of UMF Iasi’s institutional capacity: “The agreement with the EIB marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi. This contract underscores our university’s economic and financial sustainability, reflecting the confidence that European partners place in our ability to manage resources and implement large-scale projects”.

The EIB funding will facilitate UMF Iasi’s infrastructure development through eight major investment projects. These include the modernization of dental polyclinics to provide optimal spaces for clinical education in Dental Medicine. Additionally, funds will support the establishment of the Centre for Fundamental Research and the Centre for Maternal-Foetal Research, pivotal for advancing the university’s research priorities. These centers will serve as hubs for research activities, delivering enduring benefits to the academic community. Furthermore, essential student infrastructure enhancements such as refurbishing a dormitory and constructing a new canteen and gym will also be supported.

UMF Iasi received financial and technical advisory support from InvestEU, a collaboration between the EIB and the European Commission. This assistance, comprising EIB experts and external consultants, facilitated the preparation of a robust investment proposal, expediting the university’s access to financing.

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