PODCAST: Our People Abroad, Episode 7: Indonesia

What makes the relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands so strong and enduring? According to Peter van Tuijl of Neso Indonesia, the relationship ‘is in the people’.
Posted by Nuffic
Portretfoto Peter van Tuijl (header).

When the Dutch Royal Couple descended their plane when arriving in Indonesia for their recent state visit, they were welcomed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi. While a handshake from a Minister of Foreign Affairs is not uncommon, this particular one was exemplary of the enduring relationship between the two countries: Marsudi studied in the Netherlands, was Ambassador to the Netherlands, and is still a member of Nuffic’s Holland Alumni Network.

According to Peter van Tuijl, Director of Neso Indonesia, this shows the Holland Alumni Network is not about informal gatherings where people reminiscence about their time in the Netherlands, as it is sometimes portrayed. “The Holland Alumni Network is an extremely effective network that helps you getting things done”, he tells journalist Mike Cooper in the seventh episode of Nuffic’s podcast series Our People Abroad. “It is about the relationship between the two countries today, and in the future.”

In the podcast Van Tuijl discusses this special bond, as well as the importance of strengthening educational and scientific collaboration. “There is, for sure, no country outside of the EU wherein Dutch higher education institutions are involved as much as Indonesia.”

While the internationalisation of Indonesian universities is ‘taking off’, Van Tuijl says, the Neso office fulfils a crucial role in supporting the Dutch knowledge sector strengthening its ties with Indonesia, and the region. “Indonesia is the stepping stone to Southeast Asia.”

Listen to Our People Abroad Ep. 7

Watch the documentary Peter recommends, about the postal road between Jakarta and Surabaya.