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Minister for Higher Education and Science Christina Egelund's speech at the 90th anniversary of the school ship "Danmark" on the 9th of June 2023

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Dear students

What an amazing experience to be onboard this beautiful ship. It has truly been a privilege to be here today with all of you.

There is no doubt about it – being on this ship as part of your education brings both personal and professional qualifications that will last a lifetime. Experiences that you will benefit from as graduates in your future jobs, no matter what you are going to do.

I know this day has been special, and that not all days are this glamorous. And I can also see how much hard work has been put in preparing this event. As Minister for Higher Education and Science, I really appreciate all that has been done to make this day so special.

I am sure that being on this ship can be just as much hard work as it can be a beautiful experience.

Sailing the calm seas under a starlit night or hitting a storm and getting seasick. Getting up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning to do your chores, or being on shore leave in some faraway, exotic city.
It is all part of the experience.

I guess life at sea gets under your skin on a ship like this, and hopefully, you will want to pursue a maritime career when it comes to deciding which direction your work-life should take. Because we need more skilled workers who choose the maritime and marine life as their working environment.

I would like to quote the Danish writer and sailor Troels Kløvedal, who sailed around the world in his ship ‘Nordkaperen’, and who once said that: “By experiencing other people and other cultures’ ideas of happiness you expand your mind and discover what is important in life. You understand the world”.

This is what traveling around the world does. It increases your understanding of the world and gives you valuable insights about yourself and your own culture, which you can use in both your professional and your personal life.

It is definitely an advantage for Denmark to have skilled professionals with an international outlook and valuable experiences from working abroad, that they can bring with them back to Denmark later in life. And it is also an advantage, if we can attract employees from other countries who can bring international knowledge and culture to the maritime sector in Denmark.

I am very happy to see that today the school ship attracts both women and men as well as international students.

Seafaring as a position of strength

Denmark has a long history as a seafaring nation, and it is important that we continue to be an open country with a global outlook.

We are a small open economy that benefits from close connections with the rest of the world. Our strong maritime sector is a very important part of our efforts to connect with the world around us.

That is why strong maritime education in Denmark is essential. We need to underpin our position of strength in the maritime area with some of the best maritime educational programmes in the world – educating world class maritime professionals who can work all over the world.

This school ship offers a close connection between theory and practice, which both contributes to the quality of the education and prepares you for the jobs you can hold as a graduate.

At the same time, the ship embodies Denmark’s close ties to the rest of the world on its trips to other countries.

The maritime education in Denmark ensures that we have skilled employees in the maritime sector, and that we are a country of maritime excellence with know-how and highly valued qualifications.

That is something to be proud of.

Additional funding

I am very glad that we have been able to ensure additional funding this year for further renovation and maintenance of the ship. This is on top of the modernisation and restoration of the ship in 2019 and 2020.

Because as we all know: When a lady is celebrating her 90th birthday, everything has to be same procedure as last year.
I wish you a safe trip, when you in the coming summer weeks will sail the beautiful Danish waters before going to Stockholm.

I am sure it is going to be both hard work and adventurous, and that you will return stronger and wiser – since that is precisely the purpose of a stay on this ship.

Thank you.

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last modified November 03, 2023