Spotlights on education and science during state visit to Indonesia

The full scope of Dutch-Indonesian educational collaboration will be on display when Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visit the Republic of Indonesia this March.
Posted by Nuffic

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit Indonesia from March 10 – March 13, at the invitation of President Joko Widodo. The state visit will be accompanied by an economic mission in which 130 companies will participate. The visit ‘affirms the close, wide-ranging relationship between the two countries’, according to the official press release on the Royal House’s website.

Joining the trip are Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok, foreign trade and development minister Sigrid Kaag, infrastructure and water management minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, and Vice Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, Jan-Kees Goet. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will also be represented.

The four-day visit revolves around the themes of agriculture, healthcare, coastal protection, circular economy and water technology. While business will take centre stage during the signing of various partnership agreements between Dutch and Indonesian companies, education and science also plays an important role during the state visit.

'Both our countries stand to win if we can make use of each other’s knowledge and know-how.'

Holland Alumni

The delegation will be introduced to Indonesian professionals who have studied in the Netherlands and are now contributing to trade, investment and economic growth in both countries. Holland Alumni in Indonesia are a great asset in enriching the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands. The Holland Alumni network includes thousands of Indonesian professionals. Every year, over 500 Indonesian students returning from their studies in the Netherlands join the network.

On the first day of the state visit, the Royal couple will meet Tissa Aunilla, who studied in Utrecht. Tissa is founder of the chocolate factory Pipiltin Cocoa, which works with Indonesian farmers on quality assurance and a sustainable production process.

During a trade lunch in Jakarta, the business delegation will meet Holland Alumni who currently work as professional and reliable service providers in the areas of finance, tax legal, HR and business development.

Ika Agustin, who participated in the Dutch Training & Exposure Programme (DUTEP), is currently heading the Flood Management Department of the Water Resource Agency in Jakarta. During the dinner she will exchange ideas and experiences with the Royal couple and Dutch ministers on how to solve Jakarta’s water management problems.

The importance of knowledge diplomacy

While state visits attract due attention, it is the ongoing ‘quiet’ work of knowledge diplomacy that may have the most sustainable impact on a society.

Read the article 'Knowledge diplomacy: the centrepiece of trade'


On the second day, the Royal couple will travel to Yogyakarta to visit Universitas Gadjah Mada. There, Nuffic Neso Indonesia is co-organiser of three mini symposia which will highlight scientific and academic areas of collaboration between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Participants will be stimulated to look into future cooperation, for instance during the ‘Week of Indonesian-Netherlands Education and Research (WINNER)’. The special week of events takes place in Jakarta from 22 to 26 June 2020. As Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, said during an earlier visit: "[WINNER] is an appropriate acronym, because both our countries stand to win if we can make use of each other’s knowledge and know-how”.

Vocational education

On Thursday 12 March, the spotlights will be on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), when Vice Minister Jan-Kees Goet will receive a magazine titled ‘Strengthening human capital in Indonesia through vocational education’. The magazine provides insight into the results achieved so far and the opportunities to continue the Indonesian-Dutch cooperation on vocational education in agriculture.

On the final day the Royal couple will travel to Lake Toba, where the emphasis will be on sustainable tourism and water quality. Students and staff from Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUAS) are invited.

Let’s join forces

In light of the remarkable reputation of Dutch higher education institutions in Indonesia, in both research and applied science universities, the Netherlands has become one of the most popular destinations abroad for Indonesian students and researchers. In 2018-2019, almost 800 Indonesian bachelor students and more than 600 master students studied in the Netherlands (see the facts and figures).

For more information about opportunities for the Dutch knowledge sector and a wide scope of connections in Indonesia, get in touch with Nuffic Neso Indonesia.