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Minister Bussemaker opens the academic year at THUAS

Minister of Education Jet Bussemaker opened the academic year at The Hague University of Applied Sciences on Monday, 5 September. The stories of our students Anushka Lalay (Social Work and Social Services) and Minelfa Koranchie (Facility Management) – both guests of honour of the minister – formed the focus of the minster’s speech on equal opportunity.

“Minelfa came to the university of applied sciences via lower secondary school education and senior secondary vocational education. Anushka did too, but had more difficulty in finding the right degree programme. (…) Anushka and Minelfa got the chance to advance. But that is not always self evident. In her speech, the minister called on politicians, educational administrators and lecturers to strive for equal opportunities. “Real progress requires vision and daring: to honestly look at our weak points and attack them.”
One of the weaknesses Minister Bussemaker pointed out was the transition between senior secondary vocational education and universities of applied sciences. She announced making 7.5 million euro's available for projects that facilitate the transition, and called for the students to become involved. Minister Bussemaker also stated that this academic year, the Comenius Teaching Fellows will be awarded to ten lecturers – and their teams. These are fellowships for educational renewal in order to stimulate equal opportunity.
Leonard Geluk, THUAS President of the Executive Board, addressed the minister before her speech. In his welcome speech, he emphasised the commonalities between the minister’s ambition and that of The Hague University of Applied Sciences: the importance of the emancipation function of the universities of applied sciences and concentration on personal development. “The Hague University of Applied Sciences will invest more than 10 million euro's annually in the coming years from its own reserves for the purpose of increasing quality and the personal support of the students. It is a pre-investment, in expectation of extra resources as a result of the student loan system. We don’t want the emancipation engine to stall.” Minister Bussemaker was very happy with this investment, and indicated that the extra resources were certain to come.

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