How to make talent programs exiting

In this video students explain what makes talent programs exciting. They tell us what ingredients a program needs to give them fulfilment. 

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The best way to start an exciting talent program is to start with a challenge, a real-life issue. These real-life issues are complex due to the fact that they demand investigation, they do not have a straightforward answer. The complexity of the process is a sort of journey the student undertakes to involve different disciplines, using different perspectives. Students need a degree of freedom to develop their own way of working. Self-regulation and autonomy are stimulated by this freedom and by a coach asking the right questions. A challenging issue and a degree of freedom gets students out of their comfort-zone and stimulates them to develop themselves on their talents and competences. If failure is not a problem, students tend to be more open and dialogue between students and teachers is stimulated. It makes new questions arrive and gives room for reflection on development. 

Note: Dutch students talk about these programs as “honors programs” because that is what they call them in most universities in the Netherlands

Questions for reflection

1. How you can use the elements mentioned to make you own programmes more exciting?

2. How can you use the differences between students to get different views?

3. Where do your students see possibilities to work on real life issues?

4. What do your students see as a challenge?

5. How much effort will it cost you to ‘build in’ more challenges/real life issues into your lessons?


Amy Hill – RUAS


Veerle Paarlberg – University of Utrecht

Karuna Adhikari – University of Antwerp

Amy Hill and Nico Musebrink – RUAS

Christina Luca and Andreea Chelar – University of Iaşi


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