The Honours Academy works closely with various partners, such as community organisations and schools. This allows students to gain experience in the community-related professional field, and the organisations can also benefit from the students’ knowledge.
The purpose of the collaboration with organisations is to encourage Honours students to look beyond the University walls, while the collaboration with schools is intended to give ambitious school students an advance introduction to the University.
For the Pre-University College the Honours Academy works closely with a select group of partner schools, which give their students the opportunity to become acquainted with the University. Contact is also maintained with many other schools that are not part of the Pre-University College, in the context of the Pre-University Classes, so that all these students receive good supervision at school. In this way, Leiden University offers ambitious school students an extra challenge, and they are introduced to the University at an early stage.
The Honours Academy also works on an occasional basis with Saturday schools, as in the recent project with Schilderswijk University. These collaborations are intended as a low-threshold way to introduce the University to children whose home life would not bring them directly into contact with it.
The education for bachelor’s and master’s students is based on close collaboration with a range of community partners. This enables students to make a contribution to society during their studies, and at the same time to gain valuable practical knowledge. The same applies for companies, which can also make use of the University’s knowledge in this way.
Within the Honours College, the Honours Class Leren door doen (‘learning by doing’), for example, involves working with Leiden City Council, Stadslab Leiden (‘city lab’) and the police. Students work in teams to find solutions for community issues, such as reducing bicycle theft, enhancing relations between the police and young people/teenagers, and improving the social environment in a neighbourhood. Partners find it valuable that students can take a fresh look at these issues, and several solutions have already been implemented in practice.
For the Leiden Leadership Programme, partners are absolutely essential. One of the learning objectives of this programme is to develop organisational sensitivity. In the practical assignment, students work on issues within companies, thus acquiring a wealth of knowledge about organisational structures and forms of leadership. More information about this can be found on the website of the Leiden Leadership Programme.