In order to realise sustainable strategic partnerships for the Netherlands, universities want to work on developing a future strategic agenda for grants and capacity development.
Global issues are becoming increasingly important themes in education and research. They are also an important part of many universities' societal objectives. Global development challenges are areas in which Dutch universities are seeking collaboration with partners in 'aid countries' and 'transitional countries'. Ideally, this should be a first step towards sustainable collaboration with (potential) growth markets . Implementing the knowledge obtained into the regular teaching programmes will also present a challenge. Early investment in collaborative ventures can result in a wide range of long-term effects that are beneficial to the Dutch economy and society.
In recent years, the landscape of development aid (DA) has changed. The basic principles of the new Dutch DA policy are boosting economic development and self-reliance, and making connections with the trade agenda. From both of these perspectives, universities can make an important contribution to the development and implementation of DA, with a focus on the new Strategic Development Goals of the United Nations. Examples of such issues include developing a good knowledge infrastructure, better orientation of teaching towards the job market, promoting enterprise and contributing to regional economic growth and innovation.
In the joint vision on global development the Vereniging Hogescholen and VSNU formulated four key messages to optimal connect to the targets of DA from the national government:
- Co-creation is the key for success. It is important to develop knowledge together and not only bring it.
- Long term commitment is a necessity to reach sustainable objectives.
- Knowledge is the foundation for DA and trade. Knowledge is a high value commodity which should have a place in economic diplomacy.
- Cooperation within the knowledge field is crucial for success.
Programmes such as Niche, NFP and Kennisplatforms (Knowledge Platforms) are important instruments that the universities can use to make a contribution to global development.