Kees Smit

Smit, Kees
Senior Advisor Higher Education and Development/Project Manager International Cooperation Projects

Key qualifications/field of expertise

  • Institutional development and capacity building
  • Improving education: curriculum, learning & teaching, professional development
  • Mathematics and mathematics education at secondary and tertiary level
  • Project management: design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

Summary of work experience

After having spent seven years in Africa at the beginning of my career, I have since worked at two departments within VU Amsterdam. I work half time as a senior education advisor at CIS. The common thread in all my activities is assisting with improving education in countries across the world. Project partners include universities, but also colleges and governmental institutions. One aspect of my work is the design of capacity building projects, implementing project modalities, monitoring progress and evaluating achievements. Financial management, human resource management and project reporting are core elements of project management. My activities also entail close collaboration with international colleagues on curriculum development, teaching and learning materials, improving educational programs, implementing professional development and small-scale educational research.  

Being originally trained as a mathematician, mathematics and its links to education and instruction are other areas I work in. This includes didactic models, student guidance, use of instructional materials, assessment strategies and software development for educational purposes.

The other part of my time I spend at VASVU, the Foundation Program of VU Amsterdam. This department offers preparatory courses to students with international qualifications, who live in the Netherlands, but have no direct access to programs at VU Amsterdam. I am the Head of Department and have thus the final responsibility for the educational programs and all human, financial and other resources. Within VASVU, I am also the instructor of mathematics modules for students wishing to embark on study programs such as economics and business administration, but especially science-related studies such as physical sciences or computer science. 



  • Education is Light, second phase (WWI, II) in Puntland/Somalia   


  • Supporting University Community pathways for Refugees-Migrants (SUCRE) in Europe     


  • Basic Education Teacher Education Program (BETEP) in Yemen    


I am teaching mathematics in the foundation year of the VU Amsterdam. This course is for international students, living in the Netherlands, wishing to pursue a study program at the VU Amsterdam. Many of the participants are refugees.