Closer cooperation between the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and the Netherlands in the field of education and research

Eighteen education and knowledge institutions from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and the Netherlands will be further developing and intensifying their cooperation in the field of education, research and science. This is their way of, for example, developing joint education programmes. The unique partnership is the result of the knowledge mission to the Caribbean region under the leadership of minister Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science). The mission came to an end on Curaçao last Friday.

Samenwerking instellingen

Minister Dijkgraaf (Netherlands):

“Together with my fellow ministers from the other three countries of the Kingdom, I have spent the past few years working hard to ensure greater cooperation within the Kingdom. And with success too. For example, look at the Kingdom Grant for the short-term exchange of students. We are now progressing to the next phase. I am very pleased with this initiative by the knowledge institutions. The baton can now be passed on in this fantastic manner.”

Minister Van Heydoorn (Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Curaçao): 

“In this phase, there will be even greater focus on students from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. I think that is important. For instance, working together to ensure academic success is the same as working together to ensure the personal development of these youngsters. The knowledge institutions will explicitly incorporate this development aspect into their new programmes. The initiatives of these knowledge institutions will thus continue to have my full support, because the Caribbean countries will benefit from young and well-rounded professionals. “

Education programmes

The institutions offer a wide range of further education possibilities: secondary vocational education (mbo), higher professional education (hbo) and research-oriented higher education (wo), supplemented by science in this case. They want to start working together in order to, for example, develop joint education programmes, like a teacher training course. This will also involve the exchange of students (thanks to the Kingdom scholarship), joint practice-oriented or academic research, and the sharing of information and teaching resources. The initiatives are also about incorporating the slavery past into today's teaching curriculum.


A declaration of intent was used to confirm that an administrative dialogue will take place to compile the working schedule. This will also include students as well as parties from the labour market. The activities and partnerships will need to be developed during the course of this year.

Naturally, individual institutions can also decide to work together. For example, during the knowledge mission, the universities of Aruba and Curaçao, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Utrecht University confirmed their shared ambition to start a part-time course in public administration. This is aimed at reinforcing the administrative power of the islands.

The involved parties are EPI, University of Aruba and IPA (from Aruba), SGB Bonaire (from the Caribbean Netherlands), Nilda Pinto SBO and University of Curaçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez (from Curaçao) and University of St. Martin and NIPA (from St. Maarten).

From the European Netherlands, it involves ROC Amsterdam, ROC Zadkine, Aeres, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, NHL Stenden, Utrecht University, Maastricht University, KNAW and NWO.