Universiteit Leiden

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Impact Challenges


Impact Challenges are extracurricular courses in which students work towards solving a current problem of an external partner of the Honours Academy. The education is project-based, high-level and multidisciplinary. Through Impact Challenges, students can positively impact a real-world issue.

Designing solutions

Impact Challenges (5 or 10 EC) revolve around combining personal development with having an impact on society. In small, interdisciplinary teams, students learn to adopt an investigative and problem-solving attitude by tackling an issue presented to them by one of the Honours Academy's partner organisations. These include societal organisations, municipalities and companies. Students investigate the issue, conduct interviews, design solutions and present them to the stakeholders involved. 

Honours education

The Impact Challenges are one of several honours programmes for bachelor's and master's students offered by the Honours Academy. Characteristics of honours education at Leiden University are its small scale and interdisciplinary nature, and its student-oriented approach. 

Apart from Impact Challenges, Leiden University master’s students can also participate in the Master Honours Classes and the Leiden Leadership Programme. Bachelor's students can apply for the Bachelor Honours Classes and Honours College.  

Selection and certificate

Students write a motivation letter to accompany their application for an Impact Challenge. Upon a student's aplication, the coordinator of the Impact Challenge will consider the applicant's grades and affinity with the topic to determine whether the student is allowed to take part in the intensive, long-term programme. 

Upon completion of an Impact Challenge, students receive a certificate and the course is listed as an extracurricular module on the diploma supplement which accompanies the regular bachelor's or master’s degree. 

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