A medal for Beer Schröder: world citizen and unifier

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The International Education Leadership Summit had a celebratory ending yesterday with a medal for Nuffic's Beer Schröder, presented by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science

On behalf of Nuffic, Schröder organised the two-day meeting involving 12 sister organisations, which marked his departure after 36 years at Nuffic. ”Beer turned Nuffic into what it is today: a knowledge and service hub with a crucial role in international education, a long and powerful tradition in building capacity and an extensive international network”, said Director-General Freddy Weima during his speech. ”As a true world citizen, Beer unifies people and organisations.”

Pioneering

Schröder did this in a variety of (largely management) positions at Nuffic. In that respect, the emphasis was on what was initially referred to as development cooperation, then capacity building and now global development. Ingrid van Engelshoven recalled Schröder's pioneering work in terms of setting up and developing trade fairs and innovative programmes.

Weima mentioned the Donor Harmonisation Group, which was created partly on the initiative of Schröder a decade ago. It enables organisations that manage programmes in the fields of higher education, research and capacity building to exchange experiences on an annual basis and to endeavour to fine-tune their activities to one another.

Common vision

The Minister thanked Schröder for his contribution to the dissemination of knowledge and expertise and to students, lecturers and policymakers. ”Through your work, you have made a significant contribution to the standing of Dutch higher education worldwide.” Here, she was alluding to Schröder's contribution to the creation of the common vision on internationalisation of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences.

After her words of praise, Van Engelshoven pinned on the decorations accompanying the title ’Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau’, to loud cheers.

Big 4

In recent years, Schröder was an advisor to Nuffic's management team, in which capacity he played a role in bolstering relations with sister organisations. For instance, said Weima, he was the driving force behind the Big 4: the meetings with Campus France, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the British Council. ”As the smallest of the four countries, we always took pride in being able to refer to ourselves as one of the Big 4, but thanks to Beer we were always a fully-fledged member of that network.”

Schröder will continue to be active for a while. For example, he is part of the Rainbow Task Force, which is advising the EAIE on diversity and making education more accessible and more inclusive.

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