Caspar van den Berg new president of Universities of the Netherlands


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Caspar van den Berg

Caspar van den Berg to become the new president of Universities of the Netherlands (UNL). As of 1 June, he will succeed acting president Jouke de Vries, who led the association following Pieter Duisenberg's departure. Van den Berg is currently dean and professor of Public Administration at the University of Groningen and is being appointed for a four-year term.

‘I know Van den Berg as an excellent administrator and brilliant governance expert. His administrative and political experience and his track record in science make him the ideal new president of Universities of the Netherlands.’ This according to acting president De Vries. ‘These are challenging times for universities, which call for close cooperation within UNL. With his background and energy, Van den Berg is the right person to bring the universities together to make a joint commitment to the Netherlands as a knowledge nation.’ 

Regarding his appointment, Van den Berg said, ‘Dutch universities play an indispensable role in Dutch society and economy. There is a lot at stake; I consider it an honour to continue working on the right conditions for education and research in the Netherlands. We can do this by acting in unison and taking the lead ourselves. I look forward to perpetuating and further strengthening collaboration as president of UNL.’

Van den Berg continued, ‘Universities are bursting with talent, curiosity and creativity, both home-grown and from abroad. This has been the case for centuries and is the essence of a university. As president, I am committed to ensuring that universities offer a free, safe and stimulating environment for all.’  

More about Caspar van den Berg

Since 2017, Caspar van den Berg (Angerlo, 1980) has been professor of Global and Local Governance. Since February 2023, he has also held the position of dean of the Fryslân Campus of the University of Groningen (RUG). In 2021, in addition to his main appointment at the RUG, he was appointed endowed professor of Transitions in the Public Sector at Leiden University through CAOP, for one day a week. Van den Berg studied at University College Utrecht, got his Master's degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science and obtained his PhD at Leiden University. Van den Berg has also been a member of the Senate since 2022. In addition to his UNL presidency, he remains connected to Leiden University and a member of the Senate for the VVD. In the Senate, he is stepping down from the Education, Culture and Science Committee. Between 2019 and 2022, he was a member of the Council for Public Administration.

Photograph: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen