What made 2017 special?

In 2017, Nuffic turned 65! The Netherlands Commission for Unesco turned 70 and we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+.

Perhaps we met during our annual conference, at the debate on internationalisation prior to the elections, or at the 8th National CLIL Conference. The event attracted more than 800 students, teachers, counsellors and other visitors.

Bilingual education

Bilingual education was a focal point during the past year. Almost 40,000 secondary school students received instruction in English or another foreign language in half of their subjects. Thirty-three schools offering senior secondary vocational education now belong to the bilingual education network (tto-netwerk).

Vocational education

We were able to determine that 7% of students enrolled in senior secondary vocational education travelled abroad to study or do a work placement. At home, Nuffic supervised 20 Chinese teachers who travelled to the Netherlands to visit schools offering senior secondary vocational education and training.


During the Week of the International Student, we announced that there were over 110,000 foreign students in the Netherlands. A record number! In autumn, we organised a high-level meeting on retaining more international talent in the Netherlands.

New services

In 2017, Nuffic offered a number of new, tailor-made services. For example, universities of applied sciences and research universities asked for specific figures and our corresponding analysis in order to select the countries where they will recruit students. We also have more and more data on primary and secondary education. In countries with a Nuffic Neso office, we helped institutions to do such things as organise webinars or administer exams to prospective students.

Orange Knowledge

We were proud to be able to launch ‘Orange Knowledge’, the new programme for educational cooperation with low and middle income countries, in 2017. This follow-up to the NICHE and NFP programmes enables us to help many organisations and people in various countries to continue to develop in the years ahead.


Nuffic issued an Indication of Education Level (ION) for over 30,000 individuals. Amongst them were 4,500 refugees; our help aided their first steps in the Dutch job market. Working with a number of organisations, we carried out the HOPES programme. It helps provide thousands of Syrians with better prospects for the future. Dozens of projects designed to improve higher education in the Syrian region were able to get under way.


More than 10,000 Dutch students went abroad for study or work placement purposes on an Erasmus+ scholarship. Teachers were able to pursue continuing education abroad and over 2,000 students had the opportunity to learn about global citizenship together with students in other countries.

‘It's all about the will and confidence in each other's education systems’

6 July 2020
A degree does not automatically give you access to advanced programmes abroad. It often takes a lot of time and money to get a degree recognised, and this needs to be changed.

Nuffic statement about coronavirus

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