History and Goals

China is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. For the Netherlands – an open and export-oriented economy – this country is of vital importance; Dutch export to China rose significantly over the last few years. However, as a result of limited international mobility of Dutch students (i.e. only 0.10% of the Dutch students study in Asia), Dutch students have limited knowledge of and experience with the Chinese culture and the Chinese business network. To prepare Dutch talent for the international labour market and the ever-growing demand of knowledge of the Chinese culture, it is important that Dutch talent is offered an opportunity to experience China. The Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) enables them to experience China and by doing so, this generation can further strengthen the bilateral relationship.


The NAHSS was initiated by Utrecht University, Delft University, McKinsey & Company and AkzoNobel in 2012. Nowadays, the initiative is supported by all thirteen Dutch research universities, four Dutch ministries, and many leading Dutch and Asian multinational companies. Because of this distinctive triple helix network, the NAHSS invests in the future of excellent Dutch students by offering and stimulating an China-oriented experience.


Ever since the founding in 2012, the NAHSS actively focuses on carrying out the importance of China-related knowledge and experiences. Educating and motivating students, exchange of knowledge, improving the relations between China and the Netherlands and creating awareness of the (future) importance of the continent are among the goals of the NAHSS. Working on a bilateral network and understanding of both Dutch and Chinese students, companies, universities and government agencies is key in this.


The NAHSS aims to do so, initially by organizing a national honours program for excellent Dutch undergraduate students of all Dutch research universities and disciplines. This program offers these students the unique possibility to experience Asia during a summer program containing academic, business and cultural aspects. This initiative enables the participants to become fully aware of and able to capture the opportunities that arise on the Asian continent for the Netherlands. Not only aims the NAHSS to underline the importance of China, but it also hopes to further stimulate and influence the (academic) careers of these students in a China-oriented manner.