In zijn betoog lichtte hij het initiatief ‘Benoemen en Bouwen’ als volgt nader toe voor het Turkse gehoor.
“Students live a borderless life on the internet and international travelling has become more common. This all enhances cultural diversity. Cultural diversity has a positive effect on economic growth and innovative ideas since it may give rise to a pluralistic environment where cooperation can flourish. On the other hand economic growth also depends on trust. Everybody would agree that trust is a positive factor for economic growth and the developing of creative and innovative solutions. Unfortunately though, ethnic diversity often has a negative impact on trust and in the long run therefore on the resourcefulness of society at large.
As you may know, in the Netherlands ethnic diversity is momentarily a very much debated topic. I myself have set up an initiative that summons people to build a constructive atmosphere which can unite people in diversity, instead of drifting them apart under influence of polarization. At the moment about 6700 people have given their support.
Because of the fact that cultural diversity, as much as international contacts across borders, is a fundamental element in daily life, it is my conviction that education should have a leading role in this respect. Seen from the perspective of Bildung it is not only important but also very necessary to ensure that students gain international experience. The international classroom at home, international exchange programmes, international traineeships, setting up joint study programmes and conducting research with international partners, this all contributes to a wider scope and understanding of students involved. It will increase trust, cooperation and inventiveness. And of course, it can be a lot of fun. Let us not forget about that. For example it can lead to meeting you all here at the NIHA conference.
De volledige speech leest u hier.