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First ever Honours College Conference 'shows unending possibilities'

From a Tuscany escape room to scientific illustrations of flowers, and from Chinese movie subtitles to innovative education methods for children, every subject imaginable was covered at the first ever Honours College Conference. ‘You get the chance to break away from the standard study path.’

At the conference, students from different honours tracks present the projects they worked on for weeks. Among them was Livia. She was an intern at the Hortus Botanicus, where she immersed herself in the world of scientific illustration. ‘Because of my biology studies, I do not have much time for drawing, although it is one of my greatest passions. During my internship I learned how to draw illustrations of plants and flowers. It was the perfect way to combine the scientific with the creative.

There is a good chance that anyone walking through the Hortus will see one of Livia’s drawings featured on the signs. ‘I never expected that my drawings would actually be used. I was even asked to contribute to a book about plants, which is now in every bookstore. I also gave people drawing lessons during the summer evenings, which was a super cool experience.'

Out of the box

For political science student Iago, it is the current educational system and how it should be improved that makes his heart beat faster. ‘The idea that knowledge must be transferred from the teacher to the pupil is very outdated. It is much more effective when these children create knowledge themselves, instead of just copying things without giving it a second thought.'

During his internship in Barcelona at the company TBkids, Iago worked on a learning method that focuses on technology and creative learning. ‘When I say technology in te classroom, I don’t mean YouTube videos, zoom meetings or expensive equipment that teachers don’t know how to use anyway. Instead, I mean for example that pupils make robots together, which forces them to really think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions.’

Curious students

Iago's peresentation concludes the very first Honours College Conference. Going by the reaction heard during the drinks, the event has been a success. Coordinator of the Honours College Bram Hoonhout: ‘The initiative came from two students who were curious about the projects in other honours tracks. This is a great way to show each other the unending possibilities.’

According to Livia, the fact that creative ideas of students are taken seriously is characteristic of the Honours College. ‘You get the opportunity to go off the beaten path of your regular study programme. This can lead to great things.’

Text: Sarawitia Franken
Photos: Eric van den Bandt

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