Universiteit Leiden

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Honours Academy


Since its inception, the Honours Academy has been a ‘testing ground’ for innovative education. An important and related policy focus is sharing the acquired knowledge, so that the benefits gained from this testing ground can also be applied in other places. A third focus area is inclusiveness, given that Honours education must be accessible for everyone who is willing and able to do more.

Testing ground

The Honours Academy aims to be a ‘testing ground’ for education and talent development, and therefore supports educational innovation (by both teaching staff and students) and connects with other faculty and inter-faculty education projects and partners.

Virtual Reality

To investigate how Virtual Reality can be used in education, every year the Honours College organises an Honours Class 'Learning through Virtual Reality'. This introduces students to the possibilities of VR, which can then be used in teaching. For example, students designed a 3D model of a piece of DNA and a virtual environment in which children can learn to deal with negative emotions. In addition, the Honours Academy arranged for VR recordings to be made of special University locations and then handed out VR glasses to students and staff.

Student At Your Desk

Another example of a successful ‘testing ground’ project is Student at your Desk: a project in which students help teaching staff who want to introduce innovative teaching methods. It brings teaching staff and students into direct contact and enables maximum use of students’ knowledge. This project has been extended to the university-wide programme ‘Students as Partners’. Students enter faculties to work with the teaching staff on implementing the educational vision Learning @ Leiden.


The Honours Academy finds it very important that Honours education is accessible for all students who are willing and able to do more. Achieving a varied intake of students into Honours education has therefore been a major policy focus for several years. Partly by appointing talent coaches and mentors who are the first in their family to follow an academic study programme and/or have an immigration background, the Honours Academy is aiming for a student population that is a reflection of society. To promote inclusiveness, the Honours College has established a working group in this area. In addition, the Pre-University College is working in conjunction with Saturday schools in the Schilderswijk district of The Hague, in order to reach a new target group of school students (read more about this under Partners).

Formal basis

The formal basis of the Honours Academy is laid down in the Joint Regulations of the faculties of Leiden University. 

The Honours Academy Regulations were established on the basis of the Joint Regulations, determining the formal aspects of the Honours Academy, such as its management, organisation, and education.

Annual report and Policy intentions

In the annual report, the Honours Academy looks back on the previous academic year and presents its policy intentions. The annual reports of the Honours Academy can be found here.

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