World Class students meet King Abdullah

How often would you get the chance to meet King Abdullah of Jordan and King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima in a single setting? King Abdullah was in the Netherlands on 20 March for a state visit. Students of the World Class The Hague had been invited to attend a lecture given by King Abdullah and then ask him questions afterward.

‘I was actually a little nervous,’ said Frida Elstad. The fourth-year THUAS student in European Studies who hails from Norway had a question for King Abdullah. ‘Fortunately, I had acquired some experience in a debate club in secondary school. I tried to stay calm and concentrate on my breathing.’

Retaining young people

Elstad’s interest is in technology, particularly how it could contribute to a more sustainable society. She pointed out that ICT is the fastest growing sector in the Jordanian economy. She asked King Abdullah how Jordan could benefit from this and what role young Jordanians could play in it. The King indicated that he thought it was important for Jordanian young people to enhance their knowledge of ICT, which would sometimes entail study abroad, but that his country should find a way of getting them to remain living in Jordan.

Contacts

Following the royal lecture given in Theatre Dilligentia, the students had a chance to discuss it in the foyer. Elstad: ‘The World Class is really important for building your network. It gives you an opportunity to meet students from other universities and discuss things with them.’ But The Hague University of Applied Sciences is helping her expand her network in other ways. ‘Being an exchange student is required in European Studies. I chose Portugal where I met people who helped me find an internship in Brazil. I never would have wound up in Brazil without those contacts.’

A perfect location

The four Jordanian students attending THUAS were also invited. ‘It was really special to meet our King here,’ said Omar Al-Qudsi, a third-year student in European Law. ‘It was interesting to see how King Abdullah made contact with a group of international students. In this respect, The Hague is a perfect spot for this: there were students of at least 50 different nationalities in the audience.’

Weekly invitations

For Al-Qudsi, the fact that The Hague is the international city of peace and justice with institutions like the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court was a reason to want to study at THUAS. ‘I receive invitations every week from my faculty and my lecturers to attend events. You get opportunities here that you wouldn’t get at other universities of applied sciences in the world.’

The same passion

The World Class is a good example of this. Al-Qudsi: ‘This was my first experience with the World Class. I believe in debate forums. They attract a lot of people with the same passion. They’re motivated to discuss things, exchange ideas and consider different perspectives.’

World Class The Hague

The World Class The Hague was established by the Municipality of The Hague and intended for students attending The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University’s campus in The Hague, and the International Institute of Social Studies. The World Class is an exclusive one-year programme consisting of lectures given by international speakers and also offers opportunities for discussion and networking. The degree programmes at THUAS nominate their own talented students for membership in the World Class.