“Visit the best part of my career”

Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robert Dijgraf and Minister of State for Culture and Information Jonai Oslo were in Utrecht on Wednesday for a visit to the Hugeschule für de Konstein in Inna Baudier-Bkerlan. They were given a tour of the building and talked to the students.

A full entourage enters the HKU building in Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan at 10 am on Wednesday. After a small army of press officers, speakers and advisers, Minister of Education Robert Dijgraf and Minister of State for Culture and Information Jonai Oslo entered the reception area adjacent to the main entrance. This is the minister’s first visit to a college of arts. He seems really happy: “Business visits are the best part of my career.” Hands are shaken here and there, in another the old-fashioned crown chest is given. By the way, there is no time for coffee, because we still have a full program ahead.


The Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs is welcomed by the President of the Executive Board of the University of Hong Kong, Helen Gommelt. Next, interest is given to a number of HKU students who are given the opportunity to present their projects. After two students explain their graduation projects, we move on to two fourth-year fashion design students, who use their creativity to share ideas about fashion, sustainability and nature with the Minister and the Secretary of State. The duo listens carefully to the students and asks a question here and there.

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A conversation with music and technology

Then we were taken to a dark room, where the cellist was sitting. She started playing and immediately gained the full attention of her audience. The cello is amplified and sung by echo technology and self-designed loudspeakers, thus filling the entire space. “For a musician, acoustics are the same light as for a painter,” explains Antal, the sound system designer. According to him, he only had two days to build the system. However, his work and that of the cellist could count on a lot of admiration from those present.

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In addition to the interest in art, there is also space for conversation. This mainly relates to the role of art in society. The floor is given to graduates who have come up with technical solutions to social issues. Twan designed a card game in which he wants to make schizophrenia more vulnerable to players and Yosser uses art to get people more involved in society. They receive compliments from the Secretary of State, who admires the way the two have found concrete solutions to abstract social problems.

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Lunch conversation with students

After a brief period of humor, introduced by two first-year theater students, the company was informed by two alumni of the importance of art in primary and secondary education. The Minister and the Minister of State are also invited here. “The artist’s voice is weak,” says Susan Lutke, a teacher at the University of Hong Kong. It advocates greater recognition of the meaning of art in society.

This call concludes the tour and the Minister and the Secretary of State return to the reception hall. Here they are talking with the students while enjoying a sandwich. Can they give the Minister and the Secretary of State something with this? “It just went really, really fast for that,” Jonne says. She is studying photo technology at the University of Hong Kong and has been allowed to tell the Minister and the Secretary of State about her graduation project, working with fungi.


“The luncheon conversations with the secretary and the secretary of state were mainly about our study,” Keck added. He studied product design and during the tour he talked about his self-designed refrigerator, in which he uses technology from the first true “refrigerator”. The size of the delegation surprised him positively: “I did not expect such a large number of the entourage.” He is happy with the interest in his school and students. “There was really a conversation,” he says. “The minister and the foreign minister showed a real interest and asked many questions.”

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Fashion student work

The minister himself says he was inspired by the visit. “It’s good to see how all the different forms of art are intertwined,” he says. The social aspect of the projects also appealed to the minister: “You can see that it keeps the conversation going.” He admires the fact that young artists, such as the artists from the University of Hong Kong, are on a mission to connect art and society.

The President of the Executive Board of the University of Hong Kong, Helen Jumlett, expressed her great satisfaction with the visit of the Minister and the Secretary of State: “We have been able to show that we can radiate pride with the University of Hong Kong as an educational institution.” She believes the message is clear: “Art is important to society.”

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