The Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE) is a Netherlands-funded development cooperation programme. By sustainably strengthening higher education and technical and vocation education and training (TVET) capacity in partner countries, it contributes to economic development and poverty reduction.

Policy priorities

The programme focuses on the countries and policy priorities identified in the Dutch bilateral cooperation programme. In line with the current development policy of the Netherlands, NICHE focuses on four policy priorities:

  1. Water
  2. Food security 
  3. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
  4. Security and the rule of Law

Gender and the labour market

NICHE pays special attention to gender issues and to the link between capacity development and the needs of the labour market. In the selected NICHE countries support is available for a range of organisations including post-secondary education institutions, ministries, national commissions and NGOs.

Requesting organisations are supported by Dutch, local and regional expertise. All projects are in line with the development policy of the recipient countries and match local priorities

NICHE countries

The following Dutch partner countries currently participate in the NICHE programme:





Ghana Indonesia Kenya Mali Mozambique

Palestinian territories

Rwanda South Sudan Uganda Yemen


In the following former partner countries ongoing NICHE projects will be completed, but no new projects will be launched:

ColombiaEgyptGuatemalaSouth AfricaTanzania
Vietnam Zambia


NICHE future

The NICHE programme has been extended for a four-year period running from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017. Nuffic will continue the management of this new phase, although some adaptations will be introduced.

Download the NICHE flyer for more information(906.5 KB)

last modified May 15, 2014 11:27 AM
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