Mervin Bakker - Our People Abroad

PODCAST: Our People Abroad, Episode 1: South Africa

Accomplishments in South Africa
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Neso director Mervin Bakker on internationalisation from a global perspective
2 minutes

Internationalisation is looking for new frontiers, according to Mervin Bakker, Director of the Netherlands Education Support Office (Neso) in Pretoria, South Africa. Bakker should know, because promising new projects in this country are certainly pushing boundaries. Amid water shortages and other challenges, Nuffic brings together people, cultures and innovative ideas.

Podcast series

In the first episode of Nuffic’s new podcast series Our People Abroad, journalist Mike Cooper talks with Bakker about his life in South Africa, the importance of innovative internationalisation, recent accomplishments of Neso, and what surprised Bakker most about his new hometown of Pretoria, after having spent the previous six years in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Global presence

In this sit-down interview, Bakker also elaborates on the role of Dutch students and engineering companies in coming up with new ideas to confront Capetown’s severe water shortage. Then there is the Co-Create My City project, in which Dutch and South African students work together in finding innovative solutions to city-specific challenges. The outcome will be presented this November, with people in high office planning to attend.

“Our accomplishments show that the global presence of Nuffic in general, and our local presence here specifically, is truly adding value”, Bakker tells Cooper. “On the ground in South Africa we can realise things that cannot be realised from afar.”

Listen to the first episode of Nuffic’s podcast series Our People Abroad.

Nuffic statement about coronavirus

13 March 2020
Message from Freddy Weima, Director-General of Nuffic

Knowledge diplomacy: the centrepiece of trade

17 February 2020
This March, cabinet members and business and education leaders will join the Dutch Royal Couple on a state visit to Indonesia. While this visit will attract due attention, it is the ongoing ‘quiet’ work of knowledge diplomacy that may have the most sustainable impact on a society.


22 June 2020 9 a.m. - 26 June 2020 5 p.m.
WINNER, Jakarta
WINNER, the Week of Indonesia - Netherlands Education and Research, has been postoponed until an unknown date, due to COVID-19. New date to be announced.