Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Honours College Why the Honours College?

Exchanging experiences

Here you will find a report of the first National Honours Conference. This was organized by Honours Students, among which University of Groningen Honours Student Sietske Klatter. This was her Honours Masterwork.

Dear all,

As you will all know by now, on Friday June 7th, the first National Honours Conference ever to be held in The Netherlands took place.

The day was planned to start around 9:30AM and we were very anxious to see how many students would actually make it to Leiden. The weather was brilliant and we were a bit scared people would choose the beach over the conference. To our great delight, the first students arrived even before we were officially open for registration, and a line started to form very soon after. The room we had booked for the opening ceremony filled up quickly and we even had to use the video connection we had set up in another room.

The day started with words of welcome by Willemien den Ouden, Dean of the Leiden Honours Academy and Henri Lenferink, the mayor of the city of Leiden. After which the floor was handed to Hans Adriaansens to give the official opening speech.

The opening ended at 11, after which the students scattered around the building to attend various workshops, lectures and debates for the remainder of the day. I won’t go into everything that took place, as the programme is still up for all to see. Let me just say that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and that we spoke with a lot of the speakers & trainers, and they were all very happy with their audience.

For us the day went by without all too many hectic moments, it was mostly smooth sailing all the way from the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony. But as happy as we were to see the programme go well, this was not the aim of the conference.

Already during our very first brainstorm, we developed a clear vision. We wanted to organise a day where bright & talented & motivated students from all over The Netherlands would come together, interact and get to know each other. We wanted to create an inspiring programme, but mostly we wanted to facilitate a platform for Dutch honours students to inspire each other. So we arranged for the location & the programme and made sure there was enough time for the students in between rounds and afterwards to interact. From then on it was out of our hands.

Walking around during the day, during the lunch break and during the ‘borrel’, made me feel like everything fell right into place. It was great to notice people didn’t just stick to themselves or to their own crowd, but were introducing themselves to each other. Debates and heated conversation continued over food & drinks, new ideas were thought of and contact details were exchanged along the way.

I’m not sure what success is measured in, but my guess is that the number of students who want to organise the conference next year is a pretty good indicator. As goes for the amount of students that stick around even after the programme officially comes to an end, and the tired yet satisfied smiles the six of us had on our faces all during dinner.

Lastly, on behalf of the entire organisational committee, there are some institutions & people I would like to thank. Firstly, I wish to thank the Sirius institute for being on board with us from the very beginning and Leiden University & the Honours Academy Leiden for not only hosting the conference, but also helping us out with many organisational matters. Furthermore I would like to express our thanks towards all universities that contributed and towards all student associations that helped out with the promotion, towards all speakers and all student volunteers.

But mostly I would like to send some love to each and every student who showed up & shook the hand of someone they didn’t know before June 7th. Thanks for making an effort and being your happy motivated self.

I sincerely hope all of the ideas that were thought of will be executed, and I hope to see you all next year, at NHC 2014!

Yours sincerely,

Marijn Jonkhart

Last modified:11 July 2013 2.41 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands