Board of Trustees

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Nuffic has a strict division of tasks, responsibilities and authority between internal supervision and senior management.

This division ensures that the interaction between the day-to-day management and the trustees is efficient and effective. The Board of Trustees is composed of:

Mr Bert van der Zwaan (chair)

Bert van der Zwaan (b. 1952) was the Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University from 2011 to 2018, when he was awarded emeritus status. Previously, he studied Geology at VU University Amsterdam, gained a PhD from Utrecht University and was appointed professor of Biogeology at Radboud University in Nijmegen in 1991. This was followed by his appointment to the position of full professor of Biogeology at Utrecht University. He became the first scientific director of the Darwin Center for Geobiology and was dean of the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University. In 2008, he stepped down from his position as professor of Biogeology at Utrecht University; he then focused on management.

During his time as Rector, Van der Zwaan launched various initiatives to strengthen the university's ties with primary and secondary education in the region, such as the 'Meet the professor' programme. He is a strong advocate of the internationalisation of education and also recognises the dangers faced by the educational sector throughout the world. Van der Zwaan has strong views about the future of universities and education in general. He wants to attract the very best students, is in favour of diversity and is not averse to preselection.

Van der Zwaan’s views are set out in Haalt de Universiteit 2040? (which translates as ‘will universities make it to 2040?’), a book that he published in 2015. In his book, Van der Zwaan concludes that the future of universities is not guaranteed and should be rethought and that the development of individuals continues to be their most important role. At the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (Vereniging van Universiteiten (VSNU)), Van der Zwaan heads the system reform taskforce (taskforce Stelselherziening).

In the following quote, Bert gets right to the core of the matter: 'International relations are crucial for the Netherlands as a trading nation. Accordingly, it is essential that the entire education spectrum, from primary school to university, pays attention to international citizenship and the opportunities that internationalisation offers. Nuffic is a wonderful organisation which plays a major role in this effort due to its extensive knowledge and expertise.'

Bert van der Zwaan is the chair of the Board of Trustees and also a member of its Remuneration Committee.

Ancillary positions:

  • Chair, Supervisory Board, NUFFIC
  • Chair, Evaluation Committee, the National Library of the Netherlands
  • Chair, Advisory Board, NESKO
  • Member, Quality Evaluation Panel, Universities Singapore
  • Member, International Advisory Board, STIAS South Africa
  • Independent chair, the Dutch Platform Geothermie, the province of Utrecht
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Studyportals

Term of appointment (1st): from 27 September 2019 to 27 September 2023.

Mr Gert van den Berg (vice chair)

Former chairman of the Management Board and HR director at AkzoNobel Nederland BV Gert H. van den Berg (b. 1947) has been active on various fronts since his retirement.

Gert van den Berg studied chemical engineering at the University of Twente and joined AkzoNobel as a chemical engineer at the age of 26. In the years that followed he held numerous and varied positions in the company's international marketing, strategy development, ICT and operations divisions. Later he was appointed SBU manager of different AkzoNobel businesses worldwide and also served as a supervisory officer for various of the company's foreign activities for many years.

Among his other positions, Gert van den Berg was an Executive Committee member at the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and at the AWVN general employers’ association, and a member of the board of the Netherlands International Chamber of Commerce and the Foundation for Management Studies (SMS).

At present, Gert is part of Nuffic's Supervisory Board and is chairman of its Audit Committee. He is also an advisor to the boards of a number of small and medium-sized businesses, in areas including oil refining and water treatment.

In mid-2014 he was appointed treasurer of the Amersfoort Social Fund Foundation (Stichting SFA) and he is chairman of the accountability body of the APF pension fund. Furthermore, he is chairman of Stichting Meesterwerk in Concert, a member of the Supervisory Board of Cool Separations and acting CTO at Black Bear Carbon Black.

Mr Anne Flierman

Anne H. Flierman (1955) is Chairman of the Dutch Flemish accreditation organisation (NVAO). Anne Flierman graduated with a degree in History and Economics from Leiden University.

Anne Flierman was a member of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) for the CDA-party (2009-2019). During the last 4 years of this period he served as vice-president of the Senate.

From 2005 to 2013 Dr Flierman was president of the Executive Board of the University of Twente (UT), where his main responsibility was the university's strategic development.

In addition, he has been a member of the Innovation Platform Twente and of the Executive Committee of the 3TU.Federation (an alliance between the three Dutch universities of technology), chairman of the P&O steering group of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), and speaker of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).

Prior to this, from 2001 to 2005, he was vice-president of the Executive Board of Maastricht University. His responsibilities included the portfolios for finance, staff, IT and accommodation. From 1996 to April 2001 he was the municipal secretary for Arnhem.

Anne Flierman started his career in 1980 with the Ministry of Education and Science, subsequently taking a position at the Finance Department of the Municipality of Rotterdam, where he spent the last three years of his appointment as head of Budget Affairs and Control. He later became the municipality's director of General Administrative Affairs. From 1993 to 1996 he held administrative responsibility for the development of the planned city-province of Rotterdam.

At present, Anne Flierman is the chair of the Supervisory Board of the Santiz Hospital in Winterswijk and Doetinchem and a member of the Supervisory Board of Cogas NV.

Anne Flierman is the chair of the Supervisory Board of Landschap Overijssel and a memer of the Supervisory Board of Landschap NL.

Within Nuffic's Board of Trustees he is a member of the Audit Committee.

Ms Katja Mur

Katja Mur (1971) has been a board member of the Dutch Data Protection Authority since February 2019. Prior to this she was Director of the Macro-Economic Issues and Labour Market Department of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). In that position she was involved in education and professional development in the care sector, such as innovation, international exchange and specialist training programmes.

In her previous position at VWS she was Director of the Youth Department. Before that, she was Interim Director of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technology Department. During her time at the Ministry of Finance she was Head of the Education Section at the Inspection of State Finances.

Other position: coach at the government's coaching centre InterCoach.

Within Nuffic's Board of Trustees Katja Mur is a member of the Audit Committee.

Ms Beatrice Boots

Beatrice Boots (1967) is a director of Platform Bèta Techniek (PBT). This foundation ensures that science, technology and engineering education is more aligned with the labour market. It engages with all education sectors – from primary to higher education – and the private sector.

At PBT she set up Jet-Net (Jongeren en Technologie Netwerk Nederland). She also developed EDK (Eerst De Klas), a trainee programme which trains academics to become top lecturers, with a special focus on the development of leadership skills.

Before joining PBT, she worked at the Jakarta Liaison Office of the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, the University of Groningen and Leiden University. She was also responsible for the internationalisation policy of the Faculty of Economics and Econometrics of the University of Amsterdam.

Within the Board of Trustees Beatrice Boots is a member of the Strategic Committee.

10 years of exchange between Holland and Russia

7 October 2019
Holland Alumni are helpful in strengthening bilateral relations, says Jerke Verschoor (Neso Russia).

Proposed ministry decision on Nuffic task portfolio

17 July 2019
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) recently announced its proposed decision of reducing the subsidy provided to Nuffic, effective from 2021.