Proposed ministry decision on Nuffic task portfolio

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) recently announced its proposed decision of reducing the subsidy provided to Nuffic, effective from 2021.
Posted by Nuffic

Lees dit bericht in het Nederlands: Voorgenomen besluit OCW over takenpakket Nuffic.

This adjustment will require us to scale back our activities drastically, which we find deeply regrettable. Since 1952, Nuffic has dedicated itself to promoting internationalisation in Dutch education, to prepare pupils and students for a society and labour market that are becoming increasingly international.

Neso offices

Most remarkable is the stated intention to reduce funding for the Netherlands Education Support Offices, known as Nesos, which are Nuffic's offices abroad. For quite some time, these offices have realised major contributions to international cooperation in education on behalf of the Dutch government and education institutions. The ministry also intends to stop funding the Holland Alumni network.

Subsidies for other Nuffic activities, particularly those involving primary and secondary education as well as senior secondary vocational education, are also under discussion. The ministry plans to decide at a later date whether and how part or all of these activities are to be continued or maintained.


Taken together, these developments will severely affect the activities through which we support education institutions in developing as well as strengthening high-quality internationalisation efforts, from primary and secondary education to vocational and higher education.

Internationally speaking, the Netherlands has always held a leading position with regard to education. The proposed decision to reduce subsidies to the Nesos will have repercussions for the Dutch reputation as an internationally-oriented knowledge economy. These Nesos serve as offices for of Dutch knowledge diplomacy in the countries where they are located and have proved their value more than once.

Embedding in legislation

The Ministry of Education wishes to safeguard a substantial portion of the remaining Nuffic tasks by embedding these responsibilities in legislation; for instance, credential evaluation as well as the management of scholarship and grant programmes. We are cooperating closely with the ministry to set out our changing task portfolio. We are also working out the consequences this will have for our staff.


In the period ahead, we will sit down with the ministry and our national as well as international partners to discuss how we can continue to advocate internationalisation, now and in the future. Internationalisation is not a goal in itself, but rather a way of demonstrably improving quality across the entire education system. International cooperation in the field of education will also be continued through the programmes that we manage on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as the Orange Knowledge Programme, and through the European Commission's Erasmus+ programme.

More information

If you would like to know more about the effect this proposed decision will have on your school or institution, please contact our information centre.

Lees dit bericht in het Nederlands: Voorgenomen besluit OCW over takenpakket Nuffic.