Erasmus University Rotterdam is well represented in ‘Rutte III’, the Netherlands’ new coalition government. Four of the total of 23 prospective national government members studied at the Erasmus University. One of the Rotterdam alumni will be serving as a Minister, while the three others will be appointed as State Secretary.

Carola Schouten is the only EUR alumnus with ministerial rank. Schouten studied Business Administration at our university from 1995 to 2006, during which time she also was a member of the Association of Dutch Reformed Students in Rotterdam (VGSR). She moved to Delfshaven at the start of her studies, and has continued to live in this neighbourhood to this day.

Schouten has been a member of the Dutch House of Representatives since 2011, and represented ChristenUnie together with parliamentary party leader Gert-Jan Segers during the formation talks for the new coalition. Schouten will serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the newly-formed cabinet.

Two Public Administration graduates

Tamara van Ark (VVD) and Raymond Knops (CDA) both studied Public Administration at EUR, and both alumni will be working in the new government as State Secretary. Van Ark studied at EUR from 1994 to 1998 and lives in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, where she has also served as Deputy Mayor. She has represented VVD in the House of Representatives for the past 7 years, and will be working as State Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

Knops (CDA) studied Public Administration from 1996 to 1999. He enrolled in this programme after completing the Royal Military Academy’s officer training programme. After an 11-year tenure in the House of Representatives, Knops has presently been appointed State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, where he will specifically be focussing on Kingdom Relations.

Dropped out

Mark Harbers (VVD) was also an Erasmus University student at one point. He enrolled in the university’s Economics programme, but dropped out because he was invited to work for VVD before earning his degree. He has served as a member of parliament for the past eight years, and will now be working as State Secretary at the Ministry of Security and Justice (focusing on asylum affairs).