From 2013, highflying bright students will probably be offered the option of following an Honours Programme on top of their regular degree programme. The university has wanted to lay on this kind of 'excellence programme' for some time and now it is going to happen, the university and the minister of EL&I have announced.
The Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) has been piloting a two-year Honours Programme over the past academic year. Eleven students applied and seven were selected. One of these dropped out but the remaining six meet for one and a half hours every week to work together on a joint project. This enables them to learn about each other's disciplines and to acquire skills such as chairing meetings and collaborating. The programme also includes advanced courses and their Bachelor's thesis is more in-depth than usual.
An interesting feature if the ESG approach is that the students themselves get to provide a lot of input: they help decide what they are going to learn. A lot more work is going to be done on the programme in this pilot, which will provide the basis for the WU-wide version.