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Some things have gone lost during COVID-19

Minister for Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen's speech at Nordic Council of Ministers webinar: “Student well-being in the Nordic countries”, 3 december 2020.

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Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for tuning in today.

To be young is very much about togetherness. About being close with others. And sharing moments and experiences: Whether it is in school, at university, at workplaces or maybe sharing your first home away from your parents.

But ... 2020 has not been a year of togetherness.

Those experiences and moments that young people were meant to remember 2020 for: Well, they have been very different from what was expected.

I have been amazed though. To see the creative and original ideas that young people have come up with - to encourage each other and be social.

Young people have really stood on each other’s shoulders to get through this together.

Brave and curious young people

Today’s agenda is crucial to bring up. And we need all the good ideas you have out there!

We need to think about what kind of young people we wish to join society. What are the values they need to carry with them?

From the Danish labour market I hear a very clear request:

New candidates have to be brave. They have to have the courage to challenge their bosses.

They need to possess the courage – to go all the way to the deep end. Right out until you cannot feel the bottom under your feet anymore.

And that is exactly why we need to ensure: That young people achieve a deep understanding of the material they study. Not learning off by heart - just to achieve the highest grade.

They need to be able to reflect and challenge what they hear.

We need young people who are resilient. Not in the sense that they can handle unreasonable workloads. But young people who know who they are, trust themselves and their capabilities.

Our societies are facing some huge shared tests that runs across borders: Climate change. COVID-19. Unemployment. Negative interest rates.

And who do we need to take part in finding the solutions? Our future generations!

When they step out in the workplaces that will be the tasks assigned to them. And that takes: Courage. Curiosity. And reflection. We need to help them find their way. Not pave the way for them.

We need to make sure that: When they enter unknown territory, we have prepared them for the road ahead. Like a good scout leader would do.

Today, we will hear about positive psychology, well-being and happiness – from some of the finest experts in the field. We will also hear about how the pandemic situation has amplified the challenges of well-being.

This webinar is being watched by people from all over the Nordic countries – and also from Europe and the rest of the World. The number of attendees clearly send the message that this is important.

It is my hope that you will not only find the webinar interesting and relevant - but also inspirational for your own practice. And that this inspiration will help you to contribute to creating the change we need. Changes that will guide our young ones on the right path towards strong, independent and courageous lives.

Enjoy the afternoon.

last modified Dec 14, 2020