In order to bundle the forces of the Dutch higher education on China, the Dutch Academic China Meeting (Academisch China Overleg or ACO) was launched in 2004 in the presence of the President of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Vice Chancelor of the University of Groningen.
It can be expected that in the foreseeable future China will be one of the world’s largest centres for academic research and education. Simultaneously, Dutch universities are at the forefront of international research in multiple disciplines. Several Dutch universities are among the World Top 100 ranking of universities. It is therefore no wonder that an active and dynamic scholarly process of cross-fertilization has emerged between The Netherlands and China.
Over the years, a wide variety of exchange programs and cooperative projects have been established between The Netherlands and China. The ACO has been established in response to these exiting developments. Dutch researchers from several research institutes and departments of the universities of Amsterdam, Delft, Groningen, Leiden, Twente, Utrecht and Wageningen – have joined forces to shape the ACO.