Jet Bussemaker

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Jet Bussemaker
Jet Bussemaker.jpg
Minister of Education, Culture and Science
In office
5 November 2012 – 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Marja van Bijsterveldt
Succeeded by Ingrid van Engelshoven
State secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport
In office
22 February 2007 – 23 February 2010
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Clémence Ross-van Dorp
Succeeded by Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten-Hyllner
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
19 May 1998 – 22 February 2007
Personal details
Born Mariëtte Bussemaker
(1961-01-15) 15 January 1961 (age 57)
Capelle aan den IJssel, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Labour Party
Occupation Politician
Political scientist

Mariëtte "Jet" Bussemaker (born 15 January 1961) is a retired Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). She served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Second Rutte cabinet from 2012 to 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Bussemaker attended primary and secondary education at the Rijnlands Lyceum in Oegstgeest. She subsequently studied at the University of Amsterdam where she obtained a MSc degree cum laude in political science (specializing in political theory). In 1993, Bussemaker received her PhD degree in political and social-cultural sciences at the same university. Between 1993 and 1998 she was assistant professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam. She had been a member of the GreenLeft party during that period, but in 1995 she left it to join the Dutch Labour Party.

Political career[edit]

In the 1998 elections Bussemaker was elected into the House of Representatives. She specialized in employment policy, health care and taxes. In 2000 she was co-initiator of a proposal to allow conscientious objection for working on Sundays. This proposal became law in 2002. She remained assistant professor during her membership of the House of Representatives, now at the VU University of Amsterdam.[1]

In May 2008, Bussemaker received strong criticism from MPs and fellow Cabinet members after stating for the radio that she supported 2008 American Presidential candidate Barack Obama, and that she would consider the election of his Republican competitor John McCain to be a disaster. She did this in defiance of a ban on Cabinet members discussing foreign politics in a personal capacity,[2] instituted earlier after Bussemaker's fellow Dutch Labour party member and Finance Minister Wouter Bos expressed a similar sympathy for Barack Obama.[3]

In January 2011 it was announced that Bussemaker would be part of the Board of the "Hogeschool Amsterdam" (that includes the International Business School and the Johan Cruyff University) and the University of Amsterdam, (they share the same board), she would also be dean at the Hogeschool Amsterdam. In December 2011 Jet Bussemaker and the board received heavy criticism for apparently allowing or not being able to curb widespread diploma fraud at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.[4]


(in Dutch) biography

  1. ^ Newsletter of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2007-06-27, retrieved 2008-08-01 [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Expatica, Dutch news in brief, 2008-07-28, retrieved 2008-08-01 
  3. ^ Expatica, Balkenende annoyed at Bos' support for Obama, 2008-06-02, retrieved 2008-08-01 
  4. ^ Chaos op de Hogeschool van Amsterdam, 2011-12-17, retrieved 2011-12-17