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VET partnership focus as Dutch PM visits Indonesia

The prime minister of the Netherlands has visited Indonesia in a bid to put education at the centre of bilateral relations between the two countries. 

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte met with his Indonesian counterpart in October. Photo: Nuffic

This year alone, there are 1,500 young Indonesians studying in the Netherlands

On the morning of his visit Mark Rutte met with Indonesian prime minister Joko Widodo. 

“There are many historical ties between us, but we are also forging many new ties”

The two leaders discussed the current state of bilateral relations and how they might be strengthened in the future.  

“There are many historical ties between us, but we are also forging many new ties. Through study programs in the Netherlands, for example,” said Rutte. 

Rutte and Widodo also spoke about the importance of Indonesia investing in human capital.  

“We discussed efforts to increase partnerships in the field of vocational education, including the fields of public works, maritime and nursing,” said Widodo. 

Later Rutte met Dutch university alumni as part of an event at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta and highlighted the strong education links between the Netherlands and Indonesia.

He praised the StuNed scholarship program, which is run by Nuffic Neso Indonesia. The program seeks to strengthen human resources in Indonesian organisations and to improve relations between the two countries. 

There are currently over 4,500 alumni of the program, many of whom now occupy strategic positions in government, the corporate sector and civil society. 

“In the world of education, new connections are forged every year. This year alone, there are 1,500 young Indonesians studying in the Netherlands. And conversely, many Dutch students choose to go to Indonesia to acquire knowledge and experience,” Rutte said.

“That is fantastic, because it means that we not only share valuable knowledge, but we also gain more insight into each other’s way of life, culture and business practices.”

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