The organisation and management of SURF

For more than 30 years, SURF has been the IT cooperation organisation of educational and research institutions in the Netherlands. Universities, colleges of higher education, secondary vocational education institutions, UMCs and research institutions work within SURF on IT services and innovation.

By members, for members: collaboration makes better education and research possible

Together we can make better and more flexible education and research possible. We do this by providing the best possible digital services, stimulating knowledge exchange and above all ongoing innovation processes. In this way we contribute to a strong and sustainable Dutch knowledge economy.

Membership and structure

More than 100 institutions are now members of the SURF cooperative. Institutions can become members if the core activity of the institution is education or research, or if it makes a substantial contribution to it. And if the institution is a contracting authority within the meaning of the Tender Act 2012 (or the legislation and regulations that replace it).

The members are the owners of SURF, i.e. SURF U.A. Cooperative. A cooperative is a special form of an association. In an association, members join forces. This also applies to the members of SURF. The letters U.A. stand for Uitgesloten Aansprakelijkheid, the Dutch for Excluded Liability. This means that the members (the institutions) will not be held liable for any losses incurred by SURF.

SURF core package and procurement

Joint services are being developed within SURF, so that members can benefit from economies of scale and do not have to reinvent the wheel themselves. The service portfolio is divided into a core package and an optional package. Services in the core package are subject to a purchase obligation. If members require a service that is included in SURF's core package, they must purchase that service from SURF.

Members enter into an outsourcing relationship with SURF for the services (core package and optional services) that SURF offers. This means that members do not have to tender for these services themselves. In this way, they can combine their demand for the market and negotiate better conditions collectively via SURF.

More about services provided by SURF

Governance code

Through the Members' Council, the members have control over, among other things, SURF's strategy and the (core) package of services. In order to be able to exercise that control, SURF needs not only to involve its members in SURF, but also to be transparent about its management and supervision. For this reason, SURF has drawn up a governance code that contains broadly supported general views on good corporate governance and rules of conduct. The governance code requires that the Board also draws up and publishes a whistleblower policy on the website.