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The Netherlands

Queen Máxima praises Dutch students in passionate commencement speech

© RVD - Z.M. de Koning

On Friday, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands opened Youverta’s new school year with a passionate speech about the role these students played during the pandemic. 

Youverta is one of many MBO schools in the country – MBO standing for the lowest of three levels of higher education in the Netherlands and one that teaches skills needed for more practical jobs. 

In the speech she gave to officially kickstart the new school year, Her Majesty gave warm praise to HBO students, who, she said, carried the nation throughout the shutdown. “Without them, we would have done so much less,” she declared. 

She praised HBO students for offering care to COVID-19 patients, for facilitating remote work, for helping essential services run smoothly. But even outside the pandemic, she had nothing but praise for their work in developing more sustainable ideas for the future, for their commitment to entertainment and culture. 

She also highlighted the difficulties all students have had to face, with the increased struggle for concentration created by staring at a small screen for hours on end. She also briefly touched on the key role played by teachers on the other side of those screens. 

Her Majesty, however, dedicated the majority of her speech to painting a bright future prospect to the students. She said there are plenty of job opportunities awaiting HBO students once they graduate. 

On the other hand, she also called businesses to offer further training such as internships and lectures and to work more closely with education institutions to smooth the transition from education to work as much as possible. 

Queen Máxima has been a champion of all kinds of education since her debut in the Royal Family, championing scholarship programmes and visiting all different types of schools – the latest being the Transport and Logistics Sector Institute in mid-July.