NL alumni network, the brand new name of the Holland alumni network.

Holland or Netherlands? For a long time students, tourists, marketers and range of stakeholders have faced confusion of what to call the Netherlands or used Holland or the Netherlands interchangebly.

The answer requires a geographic understanding of the Netherlands. Holland is only made up of two provinces, Noord (North) and Zuid (South) which are most populated and the largest regions that have historically, politically and iconically defined the Dutch culture think about the big cities here, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. The Netherlands on the other hand consist of Drenthe, Cleveland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, North Branbant, North Holland, Overijssel, South Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland which are the 12 provinces in the Netherlands.

In October 2019, the Dutch government embarked on a national branding exercise and ditched the term Holland  for the Netherlands. These efforts by the Dutch government are part of its goal to change the image of the Netherlands abroad and showcase more of its nationwide offerings other than the popular known Amsterdam, Tulips, biking culture, cheese and Windmills.

The new branding strategy aims to present the Netherlands as a global leader in co-creating and pioneering solutions to global challenges. The branding will retain the orange colour and the traditional tulip has been designed to reflect a more modern look.

NUFFIC has followed suit and has also decided to implement the name change of its Holland Alumni network to NLAlumni with extra speed effective from 9 February 2021.

The NL Alumni network is an initiative funded by the Dutch government and aims to facilitate an international network of NL Alumni, future alumni, Netherlands Alumni Associations, Dutch higher education institutions, Dutch embassies and relevant organisations.

A NL Alumnus/a* is anyone  with a study, research or work experience in the Netherlands or with a study experience provided by a Dutch education institution abroad. 

The new NL brand was officially launched late 2019 and the new branding initiatives by key stakeholders in education started in 2020 but were slowed down due to the ongoing COVID pandemic that began in 2020.

For the Netherlands Alumni Association in Kenya (NAAK) alumni network, the rebrand leads to an added value for initiatives we are doing together with Dutch embassies and consulate-generals and better positioning of the Netherlands as such.  

NUFFIC will launch the new name officially and widespread at the end of the first quarter of 2021 at the latest.This will be followed by promotional campaign and also launch of NL alumni network Facebook, and LinkedIn account.

Please alumni@nuffic.nl if have any further questions regarding this name change.

Published by Nancy Onyango

Established in 2004, The Netherlands Alumni Association of Kenya (NAAK) is a not-for-profit, non-political, non-partisan, membership organisation for Kenyans who have participated in either short or long-term education programs in the Netherlands and have an academic background. We organize various academic and social activities, and also provide a think-tank which engages in various developmental, intellectual and scholarly projects.

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