Honours Kick-Off Event - Recap

On Thursday, 2 November 2023, despite the stormy weather, members of the honours community gathered in the historic Academiegebouw to kick off the Honours academic year!

Photo showing 4 honours students smiling within golden frame, held up by one of the students in the photo. On the frame, there is a tag that reads "We are honours"
Image showing honours students within a frame tagged "We are honours".
Two photos showing a grand hall filled with honours student and staff, talking and laughing.

Guests gathered for an evening filled with lively conversations and a chance to meet honours students and faculty from various UU honours programs. The highlight of the event was the "World Café," which offered a dynamic platform for collaborative dialogue where attendees discussed the significance of honours and its impact on students' educational experiences. 

In addition to stimulating discussions, the evening was filled with food, drinks and general camaraderie as participants socialized and engaged in a lively honours-themed quiz. An interesting outcome of this quiz was that when asked to rank a range of traits that constitute an honours student, “curiosity” and “passion” ranked the highest, whereas “good grades” ranked the lowest -  even lower than “great hair.” 

Two photos showing kick-off attendents in small group at tables, discussing their honours experience.

In fact, in a speech given by honours alumnus Wouter Helmholt, curiosity and connection were shown to be core to both one’s personal development, as well as one’s academic exploration during honours education. 

Notably, this event also marked the introduction of this year’s Honours Student Council, constituted of Havva Şahin, Spandan Joshi, Satoko Enomoto, and Ana Polo Bleher. Council President Havva informed the attendees on the existence and importance of the First Generation Honours Study Grant, and shared her experience as a fellow first-generation student.

Three photos, the first photo shows a smiling Wouter Helmholt as he looks down at his speech. The second photo shows a smiling Haava Şahin as she presents. The third photo shows the Honours Dean Stephanie Rosenkrantz enthusiastically explaining the World Cafe event.
Images showing Wouter Helmholt, Havva Şahin and Honours Dean Stephanie Rosenkranz

All-in-all, even with the mass winds and rains, the event was a great success filled with community bonding, and we look forward to the Honours Community Day set for May 16th 2024.