Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School lets 100 students experience Asia!
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Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School lets 100 students experience Asia!

The Class of 2014 first met during the kick-off weekend at PwC’s Amsterdam office on the 29th and 30th of March, where they first met each other (and some NAHSS partners) and started working on their projects. In the preparatory trail in the Netherlands, NAHSS students visit the NAHSS partners for in-house days, conduct preliminary research, and participate in a Chinese culture- and language course. The group of 100 talented students departs for Asia on the 28th of June!

The Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) is a national honours program that aims to let Dutch talent get in touch with China by means of summer program. This prepares them for the ever-changing labour market and makes them aware of the opportunities that China offers. The NAHSS was initiated and is supported by all Dutch research universities, four governmental ministries and more than twenty Dutch and Asian multinational companies, forming a unique triple helix network.

The program – which lasts six months, of which eight weeks are spend in Asia – consists of three aspects:

  • Academic program; students participate in an International Summer School at a high-ranked Chinese university (Fudan University, Peking University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the National Chengchi University)
  • Business program; students visit companies (i.e. the NAHSS partners) in the preparatory trail in the Netherlands and in China, they participate in the so-called ‘business week’ in Shanghai, and they conduct a research in close collaboration with the NAHSS 
  • Cultural program; students participate in a Chinese culture- and language course, they get appointed a buddy in China (i.e. a Chinese student), and they participate in several cultural excursions

In 2012, 30 students participated in the first edition of the NAHSS; this increased to 75 students in 2013. This year, 100 students will visit Asia. Moreover, the number of destinations has grown from solely Hong Kong in 2012, to Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei in 2014. 

Next to the academic-, business-, and cultural aspects, NAHSS students work on a project in close collaboration with one of the NAHSS partners. This year’s overarching theme is urbanisation, meaning that all projects will in one way or another work on issues concerning this theme. Five groups work in close collaboration with a NAHSS partner; FrieslandCampina, KPN, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Unilever, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science all have their own specific project in collaboration with the NAHSS students, whereas five groups of ten delegates work - in close collaboration with the Dutch Financial Times - on theme analyses of hot and pressing issues that accompany urbanisation; Agri & Food, City Politics, Culture & Identity, Sustainable Energy, and Urban Living. Specifically, these groups focus on three questions: what are the most important trends, how is this beneficial for the Netherlands, and what can the Netherlands and China learn from each other? The outcomes will be bundled and published in the Dutch Financial Times in September.