China has been one of the fastest growing countries in the world for the past decade. For the Netherlands – an open and export-oriented economy – the country is of vital importance, seen as China is one of the Netherlands’ largest trading partners for both import and export. Provided that China’s rapid economic growth has made it one of the largest economies globally, its importance on the global stage cannot be denied. In the meantime the relation between China and ‘the West’ has changed a lot. This can be noticed throughout Asia, but is especially present in Southeast Asia, where a lot of vigour and development has shifted to. However, the number of Dutch speaking students travelling to Asia, and China especially, is limited. To prepare students for a world with strong Asian influences, talent must be offered an opportunity to gain knowledge on Southeast Asia and China. The NAHSS offers them this opportunity and by doing so, helps to make the next generation prepared for a future in which Southeast Asia China play a big role in all sectors.


The NAHSS was initiated by Utrecht University, Delft University, McKinsey & Company, and AkzoNobel in 2012. Nowadays, the initiative is supported by twelve Dutch research universities, four Dutch ministries, and many leading Dutch and Asian multinationals. Through this distinctive triple helix network, the NAHSS invests in the future of excellent students by letting them gain knowledge on Southeast Asia and China.


Ever since its founding in 2012, the NAHSS has actively focused on carrying out the importance of China-related knowledge and experiences. In line with the diversification strategy, the NAHSS has recently altered its focus to also include Southeast Asia alongside China. Educating and motivating students, exchanging knowledge, and facilitating dialogues on current topics are among the goals of the NAHSS. Setting up and strengthening a network of NAHSS alumni, companies, universities, and ministries with knowledge and experience with Asia is key in this.


Originally the NAHSS aimed to do achieve its goals, by organizing a national honours programme for excellent undergraduate students of Dutch research universities. Recently the programme does not only admit honours students, but is open to all students that distinguish themselves in their own ways. This programme offers these students the unique possibility to learn about Southeast Asia and China during a summer programme containing academic, business, and cultural aspects. Participants receive lectures by leading experts on their activities in the Asian or international market. By deploying experts from a broad range of sectors and backgrounds, the NAHSS aims to let participants become fully aware of all facets of Southeast Asia and China. In this way, participants get prepared for a future in which they will come into contact with Southeast Asia and China, and both their influences.