Sander van den Eijnden has been appointed as Chair of NVAO20/04/2021

The Committee of Ministers (Dutch and Flemish ministers competent for higher education) has appointed Sander P. van den Eijnden as Chair of the Board of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) in The Hague with effect from 1 September 2021, on the recommendation of Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science. He succeeds Anne Flierman, who will step down on 1 May due to reaching the maximum term of office at NVAO.

With Sander van den Eijnden, NVAO will have a chair with experience as a director in both academic and higher professional education. In addition, he is well acquainted with international cooperation as a former director of NUFFIC and chair of the Brussels-based Neth-er. Before that, he worked at the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and the Interior and Kingdom Relations, among others as director of secondary vocational education and deputy director-general of public administration.

Member of the NVAO Executive Board, Anneke Luijten-Lub, is pleased with the arrival of Sander van den Eijnden: “With Sander, NVAO will once again have a chair who is rooted in higher education. He is also very experienced internationally and knows Flanders well from previous positions. I look forward to working with him on the future quality assurance in higher education in the Netherlands and on making the NVAO organization future-proof.”

Year of change 

2021 is a year of change at NVAO. In addition to a new chair, a number of new board members will take office and the organization is working on a new strategic plan. It has been established that since the start of NVAO both quality assurance systems have been further developed, whereby various choices have been made in the details. These choices have also led to differences in size and focus within the NVAO organization. These and other developments have resulted in the Committee of Ministers requesting the development of a future-proof organizational model for NVAO that provides greater independence for the Netherlands and Flanders without losing the existing added value for cooperation and the good reputation of NVAO.

Michaël van Straalen, member of the General Board of NVAO and former chair of MKB-Nederland, has been prepared to temporarily assume the role of chair in the period from 1 May to 1 September 2021. The temporary addition of Michael to the daily management ensures that NVAO can continue to fulfill its duties adequately in the interim period. 

On April 20, Anne Flierman will say goodbye to NVAO with an online webinar. NVAO thanks him for his commitment and contribution to the development of NVAO and thus the system of quality assurance in higher education. 

(Photography: UAS Leiden)