Prime Minister of the Netherlands Meets Indonesian Alumni of Dutch Universities
Dito Alif Pratama
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, visited Indonesia on Monday, 7 October 2019, during a one-day stopover on his way to Australia and New Zealand. The purpose of his visit was to reaffirm the strong bilateral relation between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Nuffic Neso Indonesia is the outpost of Dutch Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia and welcomes the support of Prime Minister Rutte for a positive response to Indonesia’s interest to engage the Netherlands in the development of human capital.In the morning the Prime Minister discussed the importance of human capital development with the Dutch business sector, followed by a meeting with the President of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Joko Widodo (Jokowi). President Jokowi and Prime Minister Rutte talked about stepping up the partnership between Indonesia and the Netherlands even further, for example in the field of education, underlining the agreement of both leaders to put collaboration in knowledge generation and education at the centre of the bilateral relationship. In their press briefing, the Prime Minister said “there are many historical ties between us, but we are also forging many new ties. Through study programmes in the Netherlands, for example.”Investing in human capital has become more important for Indonesia also in the field of vocational education. During the press briefing President Jokowi emphasized “we discussed efforts to increase partnerships in the field of vocational education, including the fields of public works, maritime and nursing.” Thus, it was fitting that Prime Minister Rutte has been visiting the Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC) University in Bogor in the afternoon. Another important area of collaboration is higher education. The Prime Minister announced “I am delighted that next June we will be holding a special week of events called WINNER: the Week for Indonesian-Netherlands Education and Research. It is an appropriate acronym, because both our countries stand to win if we can make use of each other’s knowledge and know-how”.The day ended with a connectivity dinner at the renovated Netherlands Embassy – where the Nuffic Neso Indonesia office is located. During the meet & greet with the Prime Minister for prominent Indonesian alumni of Dutch universities, the Prime Minister said “the alumni of these study programmes are excellent ambassadors for the opportunities that spring from our partnership.” The Prime Minister specifically mentioned the importance of the ‘StuNed’ (Studeren in Nederland) scholarship programme, “In the world of education, new connections are forged every year. This year alone, there are 1,500 young Indonesians studying in the Netherlands. And conversely, many Dutch students choose to go to Indonesia to acquire knowledge and experience. That is fantastic, because it means that we not only share valuable knowledge, but we also gain more insight into each other’s way of life, culture and business practices.” Nuffic Neso Indonesia has been managing the StuNed programme since 2000. The programme has resulted in well over 4.500 Alumni, many of whom occupy strategic positions in government, the corporate sector or civil society.Indonesian and Dutch Higher Education Institutions often have longstanding collabortive relationships. The Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for Indonesian students and researchers to study abroad. Inbound mobility of Dutch students to Indonesia is also growing and increasingly promoted by Indonesian Universities. Nuffic Neso Indonesia is ready to support an even greater engagement in education, research and innovation and help grow a mutually beneficial relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands.