16 December 2019

USG in charge of NIG from 1 January 2020

REBO_USBO NIG Conference 2019 Foto Lucas van der Wee

As of 1 January, the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG) will be in charge of the Netherlands Institute of Governance (NIG). NIG is the Dutch-Flemish research school for Public Administration and Political Science in which twelve universities participate, making it one of the larger research schools in the Netherlands. In recent years, the University of Twente has led the NIG.

NIG is a flourishing research school that, among other things, provides PhD education for a large number of PhD students, organises a well-attended annual conference and has a series of inter-university research colloquia. In 2019, the PhD programme was the first in the field of public administration to be awarded with European certification.

USG, the new organization in charge, is a department of the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University. Within USG, Prof. Thomas Schillemans will be the scientific director of the NIG. As managing directors, Dr. Noor de Boer and Dr. Sjors Overman will coordinate the PhD education programme, the conference and research activities. As office manager, Esther Verheijen will be the beating heart of the organisation and its face outwards.

NIG as of 1 January: Netherlands Institute of Governance

‘We are very much looking forward to working on this as a team,' says Thomas Schillemans. ‘The NIG is crucial as a research infrastructure for our field of expertise and is, in all respects, in very good shape. At the same time, as the new leader and management, we also want to implement a number of important innovations. The accreditation committee for example challenged the NIG to refresh the elective courses in order to make parts of the programme accessible to foreign PhD students as well. Also, the coordination between the national research Master's programme, which is also coordinated in Utrecht, and the attractiveness of NIG for political scientists and public organisation scientists, is an important point of attention that we will be working on.’

Judith van Erp, research director of USG, adds: 'NIG is of great value to public administration and organisation science, and offers our PhD students a very thorough education. It is an honour for USG to be able to manage the NIG in the coming years. We will work closely with the NIG Board. Updating the programme is one of the most important tasks. This starts with the name, because 'government' is increasingly being broadened to 'governance' by non-government organisations that safeguard public interests. Fortunately, as of 1 January, the organisation will be called the 'Netherlands Institute of Governance'.

The USG board congratulates the new management team on their appointment and wishes them every success in carrying out their tasks.